Teens Cash In On Social Media

Social media superstars. How Internet-savvy teenagers are earning fame and a lot of money online.

In this file photo, David Karp, third from right, Founder and CEO of Tumblr, reacts as confetti flies during the opening bell at Nasdaq, Thursday, July 11, 2013 in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

In this file photo, David Karp, third from right, Founder and CEO of Tumblr, reacts as confetti flies during the opening bell at Nasdaq, Thursday, July 11, 2013 in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Some of the most striking voices in American social media today are voices of users still in their teens. Sometimes barely into their teens.  Young people taking their view of the world onto Tumblr, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, and coming out with, sometimes, hundreds of thousands of followers. And sometimes, a bundle of cash. Once they might have shoveled snow or bagged groceries. Now, they’re building personal brands online. This hour On Point, teenage social media superstars.

— Tom Ashbrook


Elspeth Reeve, senior editor at the New Republic. (@elspethreeve)

Caitlin Dewey, digital culture critic at the Washington Post. (@caitlindewey)

From Tom’s Reading List

New Republic: The Secret Lives of Tumblr Teens — “When I began reporting on the world of Tumblr teens, I first wanted to explain the absurdist comedy of Pizza and dozens of other Tumblrs like hers. But I soon discovered a secret world hidden in plain sight, one in which teenagers, through wit and luck, had stumbled into a new kind of viral fame and fortune, by outsmarting internet ad networks and finding ways to earn thousands and even hundreds of thousands of dollars from their intentionally unambitious jokes.”

Washington Post: 2015 is the year that Tumblr became the front page of the Internet — “Tumblr is a bit of a standout: It doesn’t belong to any one genre conclusively. The site began as a multimedia blogging platform — a place where users could share text, photos, songs and links. But since Tumblr is structured heavily around “following” other bloggers and sharing their work, it quickly evolved into a vast, unmapped network of niche communities.”

BuzzFeed News: My Little Sister Taught Me How To “Snapchat Like The Teens” — “I’m 29 years old, and I’ve been on Snapchat for about a year now. I post fairly often (usually on my Story), and I get a decent amount of engagement from my friends. Quite honestly, up until Thanksgiving, I thought I was pretty good at Snapchat. Then I watched my little sister on Snapchat.”

Check Out On Point’s Tumblr

The Music Contract At The Heart Of The #FreeKesha Story

Eriq Gardner, senior editor at the Hollywood Reporter, where he covers business and the law. (@eriqgardner)

Hollywood Reporter: Judge Won’t Let Kesha Escape Dr. Luke Contract — “Kesha, who alleges that Dr. Luke drugged and raped her a decade ago and has committed ongoing abuse, has been pushing for a preliminary injunction that would allow her to record outside of Dr. Luke’s purview. Her attorneys have told the judge that the careers of pop stars are short and that if an injunction doesn’t issue, the irreparable harm she faces is a ruined career. After being briefed on the arguments, New York Supreme Court Justice Shirley Kornreich was skeptical.”

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