Smart Phones, Smart Teens – App Downloads Rising Along with Awareness of Privacy Concerns

Teen Mobile App Insights

I Kissed a Girl!

That was easy. I just put together a few pictures and I have the answer to my latest trivia challenge on 4 Pics 1 Song, the number 1 downloaded free app in the App Store. The admirable runner up is Amateur Surgeon. Yes, it’s exactly like it sounds, and more – the first line of the description: “Have you ever wanted to operate on a mutant bear with a chainsaw?”

Who hasn’t?

Instagram and Vine round out the top 10, of free quality apps and while it’s not surprising that many of these apps are downloaded by teens, a recent PEW study reveals that 58% of young folks aged 12 – 17 have downloaded apps on their smart phone or tablet, with half later deleting the apps due to privacy or tracking concerns.

The study, conducted at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard, also shows the increasing numbers of many teens who own a capable mobile device (82%), and how many of those same teens utilize that device in order to download apps (71%).

The majority of the apps are the teens download are free ones that their parents won’t see on the phone bill.In fact, the study reveals teens’ biggest determining factor in downloading new apps is the absence of price, offering survey responses like, “Usually, I just stick to free ones. Because if I don’t like it, I can just delete it. And it doesn’t matter.”

Apps Free, But Not Without CostFree apps can come from anywhere and they are not necessarily free of all costs in that many require surrendering privacy. Many apps prompt one upon download to allow it to track your location, or share personal information.

This is not news to the modern age of tech-savvy teens.

The youngsters surveyed also revealed that many of their parents don’t ask about which apps they download, as long as they’re free. However, they list among downloading habits checking for positive user reviews, and making sure the instance of downloads per app is high: “If it got a million downloads, I’m like, OK, it’s cool, people are downloading. But if it’s got like ten downloads…”

Half of teen app users have skipped downloading certain apps if they have to share personal information in order to download it, and 1 in 4 teens have deleted apps after finding out it was tracking personal info they were not willing to share.

The largest downloading demographic pays attention to more things than just how many mutant bears they get to operate on with a chainsaw. While it’s nothing new that youngsters corner the market on both use and product knowledge, both that use and that knowledge are increasing, presenting an opportunity for quality app developers and the research surrounding that development going forward.

Are you a discerning downloader? Let us know is the comments section below.

LINKS:

http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2013/Teens-and-Mobile-Apps-Privacy/Main-Findings/Teens-and-Mobile-Apps-Privacy.aspx

http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/teens-avoid-apps-track-information-article-1.1434836

http://www.apple.com/itunes/charts/free-apps/

 

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