Some insights on college students’ perceptions of social media platforms from my 2013/14 SMM classes:
- Instagram is THE ONE; Vine is only for professionals.
- Facebook is where new mothers and grandparents exchange baby pictures… And freshman post embarrassing pics that they must erase before graduation.
- Pinterest is great – but still for women.
- Snapchat is FUN and a little (?) racy.
- Yik Yak is cooler than Whisper and Secret for anonymous messaging: non-PC rants, gossip etc.
- Twitter is a workhorse for messaging.
- LinkedIn is boring, basically assigned homework for job hunting.
- Tinder is for Wednesday and Thursday nights… (More about Tinder later…)
I have written a couple blog posts about reverse mentoring in social media – learning social media from young people – and how my daughter has dragged me up the learning curve.
I have the incredible advantage of teaching social media to undergraduates and MBA students. Through my students I often learn of trends before they hit my RSS feed.
I learned about Instagram and Pinterest before they reached the inflection point in the J-curve and became big news. I knew about Snapchat before Facebook offered $3 billion for it. I shared some current insights above.
I continue to think that Facebook’s purchase of Instagram and WhatsApp was brilliant and may ultimately be what keeps it relevant. Many of my students have deleted their FB accounts due to reports of people losing jobs because of freshman beer pong pics. But few of them seem to miss the platform and many who keep it say they kept it because they like to check in on Mom and Grandma once in a while.
The platforms discussion is ALWAYS illuminating. However the discussion of Tinder was a little troubling to this non-millennial. It seems that Tinder is better than older dating sites such as eHarmony, OK Cupid, and Match.com since Tinder:
- Is immediate,
- Doesn’t focus on personality, it is all the pic and your current mood,
- Doesn’t require much back and forth communication: swipe the pic and text once or twice, and
- Is more like REAL dating.