I occasionally blog here about the mobile habits of my 15-year-old daughter and her friends. With two teens in the house, I get to do extensive anthropological research disguised as parenting.
Over the past six months, I’ve seen the following pattern emerge:
Instagram is used in a highly curated, edited way. It’s the public performance of your life.
Facebook is also used in a highly curated, edited way like Instagram.
Snapchat is used throughout the day for quick status updates (usually in the form of silly selfies).
But the service that she and her friends use most frequently is iMessage. Not SMS. Not WhatsApp. Not Kik. iMessage.
We know that US teens have expressed strong preference for iPhones. Android phones simply will not do. I think the iPhone is perceived as better, cooler, and (crucially) fancier — but I also suspect the desire for an iPhone is subtly reinforced by the fact that their peer group is using iMessage.
If this anecdotal trend I’ve observed is indeed widespread, I think the launch of a cheaper 5c could be a powerful move, one that helps to drive lock-in among teens because of the importance of iMessage in their lives.