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How Teens Make Online Friends

Online Friends

Teenagers are making more friends online today through social media and gaming applications.

Online friendships aren’t foreign to teenagers. In fact, 57 percent of teens have made at least one online friend, mostly through social media or gaming applications. Older boys (ages 15 to 17) are most likely to make friends through online gaming, while older girls are most likely to make friends through social media platforms.

Online interactions are also one of the top three ways teens hang out with their friends, according to the Pew Research Center. (The others are at school or someone’s house.) The prominent way that they stay in touch digitally is through texting (49 percent), followed by social media (20 percent). Affluence plays in role in preferred communication as well, with teens from higher-income homes more likely to text via smartphone versus lower-income teens who are more likely to use social media, which can be accessed by desktop as well as cellphone and smartphone. 

How teens interact with one another online will be of interest to apartment-community marketers once this demographic comes of age. For example, establishing residents as brand ambassadors for the apartment community may be a great marketing approach, as these ambassadors friend new potential residents and share their insights on life at the property. But beware of canned interactions: 77 percent of teenagers already think people are less authentic on social media than in real life.