Digital Game Changers of the Last 15 Years

When Common Sense Media was founded in 2003, we had no idea how big social media and mobile gaming would become. Now, just in time for our 15th anniversary, it's hard to imagine life without them. Billions of people use these 15 apps and websites every day, making them the biggest digital game changers of the past 15 years. We've come up with this list, but you voted and helped us decide on the best of the best, with YouTube topping the list. For more iconic media, check out these lists: Most Groundbreaking Video Games and Best TV Shows of the Last 15 Years.

YouTube Poster Image
WEBSITE

YouTube

age 13+

Vast video site entertains, educates; iffy stuff abounds.

URL: https://www.youtube.com/ (2011)
Facebook Poster Image
WEBSITE

Facebook

age 15+

Huge social site connects, serves ads; check settings.

URL: http://www.facebook.com (2011)
Khan Academy Poster Image
WEBSITE

Khan Academy

age 5+

Excellent tutorials on math, humanities, and more, for free.

URL: https://www.khanacademy.org (2013)
Instagram Poster Image
APP

Instagram

age 15+

All-in-one social app for sharing, shopping, and scrolling.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android (2012)
See full review
Snapchat Poster Image
APP

Snapchat

age 16+

Send moments in photos, watch curated content; use wisely.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android (2011)
See full review
Pokémon GO Poster Image
APP

Pokémon GO

age 13+

Exciting, active game marred by privacy and safety issues.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android (2016)
See full review
Angry Birds Poster Image
APP

Angry Birds

age 7+

Popular knock-down-blocks app pits birds against pigs.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire (2011)
See full review
Candy Crush Saga Poster Image
APP

Candy Crush Saga

age 13+

Addictive puzzle game is pushy with in-app purchases.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android (2013)
See full review
WhatsApp Messenger Poster Image
APP

WhatsApp Messenger

age 14+

Text, call, and chat with individuals and groups data-free.

Devices: iPhone, Mac, Android, Windows app (2019)
See full review
Twitter Poster Image
WEBSITE

Twitter

age 15+

Limited characters, lots of info, lasting online legacy.

URL: http://www.twitter.com (2019)
Webkinz Poster Image
WEBSITE

Webkinz

age 8+

Virtual world for real toys with many ads pushing more toys.

URL: http://www.webkinz.com (2007)
Toca Hair Salon Poster Image
APP

Toca Hair Salon

age 5+

Easy, creative hairstyling for very young kids to tweens.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad (2013)
See full review
Words With Friends Poster Image
APP

Words With Friends

age 14+

Superb Scrabble clone; open chat makes it for teens and up.

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire (2010)
See full review
Myspace Poster Image
WEBSITE

Myspace

age 13+

Safer sequel to classic network spotlights music.

URL: https://myspace.com/ (2013)