Teenage Perspective: The Secrets of Social Media

Want to understand how young people are consuming media from someone experiencing it first hand? In this series of blog posts, Generation Media intern Siobhan Glover looks at a number of topics relevant to the teenage Millennial and offers a mix of opinion and insight into this important demographic’s lifestyle choices.


In the UK, 72% of all internet users have some form of social media profile, and this rises to 93% for those aged 16-24. Teenagers are on social media all the time, but what are we actually doing? This week I will reveal the secrets of how I, as a teenager, use different social media platforms.


So, you think Facebook is dead? Well you are wrong! Facebook is alive and kicking! 50% of people with any social media profile only have Facebook and 85% consider Facebook to be their main social media platform. I know of very few people who don’t have an active Facebook account and I personally check mine whenever I have a spare minute.

Facebook is the “Mothership” of online content, since most other social network sites feed into the Facebook Newsfeed. Why bother going directly to a dozen different sites when Facebook collects it all for you with screen grabs, links and articles. This is why it’s my most used site.

Facebook is really important to teenagers for group functionality, with multiple group chats featuring different friendship groups, classmates and sports teams. Brands can access the Facebook Messenger experience by creating a collection of emotion stickers.


I will start by saying that Twitter is not something my friends and I use regularly. A lot of people are intimidated by the confusing etiquette and the pressure to gain more followers.

However, Twitter still makes up a large part of the content we consume and talk about through screengrabs shared on Facebook and in articles on sites such as Buzzfeed. Everyone’s always talking about the latest Twitter scandal between celebrities but in my opinion few people see it first hand or search Twitter to find it.

In high school, teenagers admire and follow the funniest, most confident students, and will ignore the boring. In the same way, brands can’t always play it safe if they want to be sharable. I believe that to attract the attention and loyalty of millennials you must be humorous and engage in a bit of banter with your customers.


Tumblr is an intimate blogging community which younger teenagers are involved in. To succeed on Tumblr you should keep roughly a 50:50 split between creating your own content and sharing from blogs with a similar interest. For sharability you must produce good quality, attractive imagery that someone would want to add to their blog. Just as importantly, you must also engage in the comments sections. An interesting comment section is actually more sharable than the original content. Like Twitter some celebrities and brands engage with the public via Tumblr including Taylor Swift, Coca Cola, Calvin Klein and Sesame Street.

Users love the anonymity of Tumblr, they feel they can express their interests without having their identity attached. My embarrassing love for Doctor Who at the age of 15 would have been laughed at on Facebook but on Tumblr every interest is encouraged. As we mature our interests change and so can our Tumblr identities. Thankfully, you can quickly and easily change your URL to something better suited and start sharing different content.

In my next blog, I will reveal insights into  more social networks including Snapchat, Instagram and newcomer Yik Yak!

Siobhan Glover


Ofcom’s Adults’ Media Use and Attitudes Report 2015