Most Kids Use the Internet Daily for Fun and Friends

How to connect with kids when they're connected to the internet.

  1. most kids use the internet daily for fun and friends

America’s kids use the internet for just about everything – playing games, watching videos, maintaining social connections, listening to music, and even doing homework.  This makes the internet as integral a part of their lives as it is for adults because it provides connection to what they value. Most kids use the internet daily for fun and friends.

Understanding kids and the internet starts with understanding how often they’re on it. To get this information, KidSay’s Trend Tracker asked over 1000 tweens (8-11 years old) and teens (12-15 years old): ‘How often do you use the internet?’  Over half (54%) said they use it “many times a day,” with another 16% saying they use it at least ”once a day.” That means 70% or most of kids 8-15 say they’re on the web daily.

Insight: Kids say apps are websites.

Kids are becoming less able to distinguish the difference between apps and the websites. The greatest examples of this are in some recent answers to KidSay’s questions regarding kids’ “favorite website” and “favorite social network/virtual world.” For the first time, a handful of tweens named Safari (yes, Apple’s web browser) as their favorite website and social network. More research is needed for a full explanation, but KidSay believes this has A LOT to do with the proliferation of handheld devices.

kids say apps are websites

Instagram presented the first snapshot of this trend.

In the 2012 June/July Trend Tracker, KidSay’s open-ended survey questions provided a context for teen girls to quantitatively reveal kids were beginning not to draw that distinguishing line between apps and websites. Instagram was named as a favorite website. Sure, Instagram is a website, but those familiar with the history will recall Instagram’s browser-based user interface is a relatively new addition. Teen girls named Instagram as their favorite website when the URL led to no more than a splash page.  The latest apps to be named in a website-related question are Kik Messenger and Apple’s Safari web browser. KidSay will continue to monitor the situation on all fronts.

Whether in-app or in-browser, the topline priorities of the content are the same.

Like many things in the kids’ market, age and gender influence what kids value on the internet. Tween boys and girls said ‘playing games’ was their #1 activity, while ‘watching videos’ was at #2. America’s teen boys inverted their tween peers’ preferences by most often using the web to watch videos, with playing games at #2. Teen girls prefer to go to a social networking site with ‘watching videos’ at #2. It’s no wonder that they are the source that first revealed social networking apps Instagram and Kik Messenger as web favorites. Qualitatively, KidSay knows that many tweens have been using Kik for quite some time because of its ability to provide some anonymity and it does not require a device with a data plan.

Whether it’s playing games, watching videos, or checking in on a social network, giving America’s kids want they want from an  app or browser starts with providing them the opportunity to have fun and to connect with others. If you can do both, you’re one step closer to making your site part of their daily web presence.

Terence Burke

Terence Burke

SVP of Research, Editor-in-Chief KidSay's Trend Tracker at KidSay
Terence Burke is one of America’s leading kid experts. He is co-creator of KidSay’s Trend Tracker, a noted research report that many of the world’s most successful companies rely upon to understand kids and their rapidly-changing world. As the Trend Tracker’s editor-in-chief and principle writer since its inception, Terence has disseminated his kid-market expertise since 1999. The knowledge and insight Terence has acquired in his role as Trend Tracker editor and KidSay’s Senior VP of Research has led to multiple invitations to speak at Nickelodeon, Disney, McDonald’s, Reebok, Build-A-Bear, Activision, Kraft and Hasbro, among others. In addition to his research experience Terence has a Master’s degree in Therapeutic Education. He spent over two decades teaching emotionally handicapped students and, most recently, teaching inner-city youth at DreamYard High School in the Bronx, NY. Terence’s proudest achievements are being a husband to Katherine and a father to Alden, Selby, and Tristan.
Terence Burke
About the Author

Terence Burke

Terence Burke is one of America’s leading kid experts. He is co-creator of KidSay’s Trend Tracker, a noted research report that many of the world’s most successful companies rely upon to understand kids and their rapidly-changing world. As the Trend Tracker’s editor-in-chief and principle writer since its inception, Terence has disseminated his kid-market expertise since 1999. The knowledge and insight Terence has acquired in his role as Trend Tracker editor and KidSay’s Senior VP of Research has led to multiple invitations to speak at Nickelodeon, Disney, McDonald’s, Reebok, Build-A-Bear, Activision, Kraft and Hasbro, among others. In addition to his research experience Terence has a Master’s degree in Therapeutic Education. He spent over two decades teaching emotionally handicapped students and, most recently, teaching inner-city youth at DreamYard High School in the Bronx, NY. Terence’s proudest achievements are being a husband to Katherine and a father to Alden, Selby, and Tristan.