What Teens Want In Mobile Apps

What Teens Want In Mobile Apps

Thomas CostelloChurch Leadership Leave a Comment

Adding more teens as members is vital to growing your church. The only problem is you have to figure out how to engage them on their terms.

Luckily, teens love mobile apps. It’s a rare moment when they don’t have a smartphone in hand. This works to your advantage.

By creating a mobile app for your church, you’re better able to engage with this age group. You just have to make sure that you include what teens expect and want most from their apps.


Teens prefer mobile apps that make it easy to communicate with others. It’s why you’ll notice that the most popular apps among teens all have messaging capabilities. For instance, teens love Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook (along with Facebook Messenger) and Twitter. All of these allow teens to communicate publicly and privately.

Your church’s app should have a way for all users to send messages to each other. Think of it as your own personal Facebook Messenger. Your app should also include emojis for teens to better express themselves. Plus, your adult members enjoy emojis too.


Another trend you might notice among those popular apps is the social aspect. In fact, Snapchat is the most used among teens because of its social features. Instagram is also incredibly popular for the same reason. Teens love being able to keep up with their friends. It’s not just about messaging either.

They also enjoy seeing where their friends are, looking at pictures they take, interacting with multiple friends at once and sharing their own stories. Incorporate this into mobile apps by having engaging polls, asking for their feedback and encouraging them to socialize with each other on your app.

Listening To Music

Teens also love music apps. While it’s not a must-have for your church’s mobile app, integrating with an existing streaming app, such as Spotify, could boost engagement. The streaming music industry is continuing to grow and teens are a large part of the reason.

Adding podcasts, recommending music videos and even creating playlists on streaming services could make mobile apps far more appealing to teens. Even adding short list posts with the top songs for certain issues teens face ensures they keep coming back to your church’s app. Just remember, make sure the music is relevant to them and their tastes.

Watching Videos

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that teens enjoy YouTube. In fact, they prefer watching videos to reading text. Teens even prefer watching videos and TV over social media. But, when you combine videos with a social network, it’s something that’s impossible to resist.

Adding video elements to mobile apps is a great way to engage teens. If you want to get really creative, add fun videos to your church’s app. They can be videos you create or uplifting videos you find on YouTube. As long as they’re getting the right message across, they’re doing their job.

Looking At Images

Teens are visual. That’s why Snapchat and Instagram are so popular. They love looking at images, sharing images and uploading their own images. When a mobile app gives them the chance to do all of the above, they’re hooked. Adding humorous images to your app is the perfect way to grab a teen’s attention.

Consider uploading more visual content to your church’s app. If you have any teens who can draw or write, let them create a weekly comic that’s available on your app and church website. Not only is it engaging to view, it’s also a way to get them more involved at church. Naturally, the comic should relate back to recent sermons or events at church.

Expressing Thoughts

Most importantly, teens love mobile apps that let them express themselves. Think of all the pictures they upload to Instagram and all the captions on Snapchat photos. Apps give them the freedom to instantly express how they feel and to connect with others who feel the same way.

While you might not want teens using their smartphones in church, consider adding interactive elements that allow teens to express themselves during church. They could ask questions, express their concerns and see how other teens are reacting. Of course, they can use the app as an open forum for expressing what’s going on with them and how it’s affecting their faith.

Looking for even more ways to engage teens? Try taking the best of your church’s website and turning it into an interactive mobile app.


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