Not all social networks are created equal, yet they’re still piled under the same generic umbrella term. Each separate network yearns to make their niche and specialties known, generating unspoken competition amongst names that are often uttered within the same sentence and symbolic icons placed side by side in a straight line.
Just like high schoolers, each of these social networks opts to individuate itself from the bunch, proffering a unique identity defined by a particular set of qualities. Read on to see the who’s who of social networks: high school edition.
Facebook: Most popular.
It goes without saying that Facebook has single-handedly spearheaded the social media movement, in large part lending itself to the mega influence that this field wields today. It also helps to have an Academy Award-nominated film, generically titled The Social Network, based on the humble beginnings, dirty dealings, and catastrophic rise of your company that automatically links back to your name. Think of Facebook as the “big man on campus” who runs the school and has automatic entry to the best parties, hangs around the hottest girls, and will leave his legacy long after gracing the halls with his presence.
Twitter: Gossip Queen.
Given its short snippets and hashtag-happy nature, Twitter figures in as the social media platform that entices you with its simplicity and snappiness, quite often leaving you wanting more. Twitter functions as the millennial’s digital grapevine, proving that news now travels faster by chirp-of-tweet than it does by word-of-mouth. Twitter is the busy bee of the bunch, constantly updating the world on the current happenings of the high school’s bustling microcosm. Personified, Twitter is most likely to plan your prom, give live details on the event, and generate a hashtag that has a pretty good chance of collecting steam.
LinkedIn: Class President.
All work and no play, LinkedIn is classified as the nerdiest of the bunch, given its primary function as a business-oriented network. As a high schooler, LinkedIn is most likely to turn in a paper early, have a hot date with homework on any given Friday night, and graduate at the top of the class. His efforts are not for naught, however, as it is typically through this platform that one is most likely to find a suitable job, develop a stealthy professional network, and thus use LinkedIn as a springboard for future professional success. Don’t be surprised if he arrives to your ten-year reunion freshly landed from his private jet with a trophy wife on his arm.
Instagram: Prom Queen.
Le sigh. Instagram is the girl who seems to radiate “I woke up like this” on a consistent basis, perhaps owing to the rose-colored lenses (or advanced artsy filter options) of her followers. Her captions are witty, and her photos are a mix of selfies, #girlsnightout photo ops, #foodporn, sunsets, and other pretty #blessed little things that give heed to the perfection of her life. Instagram always puts her best face forward, and then that best is… well, bested, with the help of the platform’s aesthetic add-ons.
Tumblr: Art Freak.
Tumblr functions as the artsy one of the bunch, combining hipster elements with a touch of doom and gloom. Whether her art is free verse, collaging, fine art, or what have you, her Tumblr page is a masterpiece in itself, crafted to her every stylistic whim. She uses her page as a cathartic creative outlet, providing a visual representation of the turmoil she feels inside. (Perhaps a little melodramatic, but we are still talking about teenagers, right?)
YouTube: The Performer.
More gregarious than its fellow oft-artsy counterpart, Tumblr, YouTube is a one-man band and character actor rolled into one very entertaining fellow. Never without his camera and viewing the world as his stage, YouTube is today’s new and improved answer to the 80s AV club geek. He’ll be the MC at prom and the elected speaker at graduation: you’ll be happy to revisit his winning speech time and time again, having his view count and ‘thumbs up’ reflect his ever-reigning popularity.
This post was written by Ben Shwartz, VP of Marketing for Spot.IM, the first ‘everywhere’ social network. If Spot.IM were a high schooler, he’d be the new kid in town who loves to meet new people, has an in with every social group, and truly loves connecting with people with shared interests and aspirations. He may be shy at first, but show him some love and we’re sure you’ll foster a lasting friendship in the making.