The key to reaching today's American teen effectively is to reach them on multiple channels, marrying both their online and offline worlds. Clearly the importance of the brick-and-mortar experience still remains. But a strategic integration with mobile and social is a recipe for sales success.
If we empower our teens, recognize them, reward them and show them that you don't need to be a "celebrity" by being on a reality television show, but rather make a contribution to your real life, the world would grow better teens and thus a better world.
Even though teens played a key role in the rise in popularity of Napster, they are now helping to bridge the gap between the entertainment/music and technology industries.
Laura Deming is not your ordinary teen. At the tender age of 12, she began working in a biogerontology lab. At 14, she headed off to MIT for college. Today, at 17 years old, when most of her peers are only beginning to look at colleges, she's leaving MIT to join the inaugural class of Thiel Fellows -- a group of 20 teens hand-picked by The Thiel Foundation to pursue innovative scientific and technical projects, learn entrepreneurship, and begin building the technology companies of tomorrow.
Twitter has a big opportunity to grow its teen audience if it finds ways to make these new features relevant to their needs -- especially now that teens are starting to experience social media fatigue with other platforms that are becoming more complicated and less personal. For now we'll have to wait and see the new features are rolled out and what's coming next.