Twitter

Common Sense Media says

Powerful social tool, but use privacy, location settings.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

The app's stacked windows are elegant but take some getting used to. The app requires a combination of tapping, dragging, and pinching to navigate.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

Given the freewheeling nature of Tweeting, users might finds Tweets with sexual references, photos, or links to porn sites. Users can block spammers who post these links from appearing in their Twitter feed.

Language

There are no language filters on Twitter, so profanity is common.

Consumerism

Companies and celebrities frequently use Twitter as an advertising vehicle to promote products and services.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Given Twitter's lack of censorship, kids may very well come across posts mentioning drugs, smoking, or alcohol.

Privacy & safety

There are options for making tweets private (friends only) or public, and also an option that allows tweets to go out with location information, but on the app this information is difficult to access because you must go to the website to change settings. Public tweets will turn up in Google searches, and if someone tweets your kids' names publicly, those names will be surfaced in a Google search. Also, the Library of Congress archives all public tweets. This means that public tweets are being preserved indefinitely and may be used for research purposes and put on public display. Twitter's Tweet With Your Location feature allows you to add your location along with your posts -- although to use it, you have to opt in.

In theory, teens could post personal information that could present personal safety issues (address, location information, "parents are gone, party at my house," photos, etc.), but if privacy settings are used and teens are smart about what they post, Twitter can be a  safe tool.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is the official Twitter app for mobile devices. The app lets you do virtually everything you can in the browser version of Twitter, including posting 140-character updates (known as "tweets"), viewing friends' feeds, sending private messages, searching, uploading photos, and following links. The app can post the user's location (street name and city) with each Tweet, but users must opt in to this feature. Parents can talk to teens about choosing privacy settings that keep their Tweets within a known group of friends, and other ways to protect their privacy and safety online.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • discussion

Social Studies

  • citizenship
  • events
  • global awareness

Skills

Communication

  • asking questions
  • conveying messages effectively

Responsibility & Ethics

  • following codes of conduct
  • respect for others

Tech Skills

  • evaluating media messages
  • social media

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Twitter is one of the most engrossing social media among young and old. Given the "on the go" nature of Twitter, it makes sense for them to come out with an official app for mobile devices.

Learning Approach

Kids can learn about a range of subjects and skills, depending on how they use Twitter. Teens can potentially gain a greater understanding of technology, politics, culture, and current events.

Support

The interface -- which utilizes stacked windows to display information -- is elegant for the most part, although having to pinch and drag to open user profiles and retweet/reply can be awkward since it's easy to click on an active link by mistake.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • discussion

Social Studies

  • citizenship
  • events
  • global awareness

Skills

Communication

  • asking questions
  • conveying messages effectively

Responsibility & Ethics

  • following codes of conduct
  • respect for others

Tech Skills

  • evaluating media messages
  • social media

Kids can learn about a range of subjects and skills, depending on how they use Twitter. By posting 140-character tweets and viewing others' tweets, teens (Twitter is for 13 and up) can potentially gain a greater understanding of technology, politics, culture, and other topics. Often, news breaks on Twitter, so it's great for current events. The downside? Twitter is not always used positively, so iffy messages, bullying, misinformation, and more can crop into a teen's world, depending on who they follow. Used appropriately, Twitter can help teens navigate social networking while learning about the world.

This Learning Rating review was written by Erin Bell

Parents say

Kids say

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Given the "on the go" nature of Twitter (and the popularity of third-party mobile Twitter apps like TweetDeck), it makes sense for Twitter itself to come out with an official app for mobile devices. The interface -- which utilizes stacked windows to display information -- is elegant for the most part, although having to pinch and drag to open user profiles and retweet/reply can be awkward since it's easy to click on an active link by mistake. A feature to push new tweets to the top of the list would also have been nice (instead, users have to refresh the list manually). Also, we wish there was a direct way to access privacy settings within the app instead of having to go through the browser. But the app does far more right than it does wrong, and as a free download the price is certainly right.

Families can talk about...

  • Discuss online etiquette and how it applies to using social networks such as Twitter.

  • Talk about the steps teens should take to protect their privacy online.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:September 7, 2010
Category:Social Networking
Publisher:Twitter, Inc.
Version:3.1.1
Minimum software requirements:OS 3.1 or later; Android 2.1 and up

This review of Twitter was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 17 year old Written bylonelygirl January 1, 2011
Kid, 11 years old April 4, 2011
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

I love Twitter!

I am getting an ipod touch for my birthday and I hope I get twitter on it!
What other families should know
Educational value
Teen, 13 years old Written byTheBombFunn June 28, 2013
AGE
16
QUALITY
 

i like twitter i guess

The app is better

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