This year, our local high school became the first in Kentucky (and one of the few in the nation) to issue iPads to its entire student body. While I would guess that roughly 40% of the students already owned smartphones, very few had daily access to tablet devices on a daily basis.
As part of the yearbook's coverage of the story, the student body (approximately 1200 in number) were asked a simple question: "What's your favorite social app?" The results?
- Facebook: 55%
- Twitter: 22%
- Skype: 15%
- Google+: 8%
The first two are no surprise, but I found both of the latter choices interesting. My kids aren't big users of either Skype or Google+, but they told me that many of their friends used them for live after-hours conversations, collaboration on class projects, and the like. (My kids used Instagram more often than they did either Skype or Google+, but they're obviously the outliers in this group.)
I thought this particularly interesting in the case of Skype, since one rarely hears that product mentioned in the same breath as Facebook and Twitter. There's also an interesting story lurking in the 'rise and fall' of other apps among members of this particular audience; there were numerous apps that were "hot" for a week or two, only to fall into general disuse due to clunky interfaces, lack of features or poor service performance.
It's only one data point, but the "newness" of tablets to the bulk of the student body makes it an interesting look at early adoption among teenagers.