‘What’s Facebook Watch?’: VidCon teens and tweens on video platforms

Teens and tweens have tons of programming they can watch across traditional TV and online. So what are they actually watching? VidCon — the digital entertainment industry’s version of Comic-Con taking place this week in Anaheim, California — attracts thousands of members of this audience and offers an opportunity to check in on what they’re tuning into. Here’s a sampling of what they said.

Between regular TV, Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat and TikTok, what are you watching the most?
“I watch a lot of YouTube and Netflix.” — Isabella, 16

“Probably YouTube.” — Sy, 11

“Netflix.” — Natalie, 13

“Mostly Instagram and YouTube.” — Megan, 13

“Mostly YouTube. After I get back from camp, I watch YouTube, and then I do something else, and then I just keep watching YouTube.” — Jasmine, 7

“Definitely YouTube, and then I think second would probably be Instagram, and then Netflix.” — Carmen, 14

“Netflix, and I use Instagram a lot. And Snapchat.” — Neesa, 14

Have you noticed any changes with the videos that creators are posting to YouTube?
“A lot of them started posting less, but longer videos, which is good because they’re better videos.” — Isabella, 16

“Definitely less videos from all of them, and I’d say the majority are now shorter as well. I think they’re trying to do quality over quantity. They’re putting more effort into the videos versus just putting up whatever.” — Carmen, 14

What do you think of the ads on YouTube?
“There’s been like hour[-long] ads, and I’m like ‘what the heck?’ And then I have to wait 30 seconds to skip it. Imagine someone sitting through an hour of an ad.” — Isabella, 16

“I don’t really care because it doesn’t really affect me in any way. I don’t make videos. I just watch it.” — Sy, 11

“Before it only was like one ad in the middle of a video. Now it’s two ads. Sometimes I can skip both, but sometimes I have to wait, and I don’t really like that. The ads are okay if they’re longer because then I can skip it. But if they’re only 10 seconds and I have to wait, I don’t want to do that.” — Megan 13

Do you watch videos on Facebook?
“None of my friends are on [Facebook] really, so I don’t really see any point to go on it.” — Sy, 11

“I don’t have [Facebook].” — Natalie, 13

“I don’t want Facebook.” — Megan, 13

“It doesn’t interest me. I guess it has that reputation of being for older people.” — Carmen, 14

“I use it for like old, old pictures.” — Neesa, 14

Do you know what Facebook Watch is?
“Oh God. No, I don’t know, I forgot. What is it?” — Isabella, 16

“No.” — Carmen, 14

Do you watch IGTV?
“I know what IGTV is. I’ve seen people use it, like I’ve watched videos on it.” — Isabella, 16

“No, I don’t watch IGTV. I just watch Stories. I don’t really go on Instagram that much.” — Sy, 11

“I use [IGTV] less now because I watch Stories more.” — Natalie, 13

“I watch [IGTV] but not like a lot. Usually less than an hour.” — Megan, 13

“I don’t find [IGTV] interesting. I feel like it’s the recycling bin for YouTube. [Creators] put the really good stuff on YouTube, and then they’ll put the second-level content on [IGTV].” — Carmen, 14

Do you watch Snapchat?
“I don’t like Snapchat. It freezes a lot, so I don’t use it.” — Isabella, 16

“I don’t use [Snapchat]. I only have Instagram. That’s the only thing that I can have and really want to have.” — Megan, 13

“I use Snapchat. I don’t really use it that much compared to the other platforms. I mainly use it to message friends. I don’t really watch the shows there.” — Carmen, 14

“I watch the shows and stories and [do] messaging. Basically everything on Snapchat.” — Natalie, 13

Do you watch TikTok?
“It’s kinda cringey. It’s like all little kids.” — Isabella, 16

“I have TikTok. I don’t go on it though. Most of the stuff is kind of cringey and not really funny. Most of it is just people my age on there, and they think they’re being cool.” — Sy, 11

“I don’t have TikTok. I don’t really want to have it that much. Sometimes on Instagram, I can watch TikTok videos. I don’t really want to make TikTok videos, and I can already watch it, so there’s no reason for TikTok.” — Megan, 13

“I don’t use TikTok. I just find it weird. It’s just like the videos are weird, and the whole platform I find kind of strange.” — Carmen, 14

“Some are random where they’re cringey. Some are random where they’re not that cringey.” — Neesa, 14

What do you watch on Netflix?
“’Stranger Things.’ There’s a lot of shows that I watch on there.” — Isabella, 16

“’Stranger Things.’ ‘Friends.’” — Natalie, 13

“Mostly the Netflix Originals series, the stuff that gets really popular that people recommend.” — Carmen, 14

“I watch a show called ‘Shameless.’” — Neesa, 14

Do you watch regular TV?
“As a family we usually watch it, and sometimes if we’re really bored we watch Nickelodeon or something.” — Megan, 13

“We don’t have cable. We have the other stuff, so it wasn’t really necessary.” — Carmen, 14


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