Flash Robs: Teens Organize Negative Actions On Social Media

Today’s post comes from Ypulse’s Research Intern Phil Savarese.

Flash Robs: Teens Organize Negative Actions On Social Media

Millennials always want to be a part of something much bigger than themselves and the popularity of flash mobs is evidence to that. Social media makes it easier to orchestrate large events out of thin air and being part of a large group takes away the fear of being self-conscious to cut loose. A recent Lifeline quote stated: “Flash mobs are a big trend because it's easier to be crazy in a large group with a small amount of anonymity.” (Female, 25, FL).

But with the popularity and mass appeal of flash mobs, a sub-culture has emerged. Flash robs are a mischievous and dangerous type of flash mob, where participants (usually teens) gather at retail stores among other places and rush inside. Once there, they proceed to grab as much as they can and leave as quickly as possible. In and out.

Over the past few years, flash robs have become more common. Store owners are worried for the safety of both their customers and their stores profits. CBS New York reported on a wave of flash robs that have targeted various newsstands and convenience stores. One shop owner has been targeted a total seven times. In recent attacks, an employee was struck with a bottle and hospitalized while another left a customer with a broken arm. 

In 2011, the robberies got the attention of Washington state legislators. The Wall Street Journal reported that Senator Mike Carroll proposed a law that will classify a flash rob as organized retail theft (a felony) if nine or more individuals planned the crime using electronic messages and collectively steal $250 (previously $750) or more. Other legislators are worried that the decrease in the minimum amount stolen will cause the…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the day: “I’m single and I’m okay with it.” –Female, 15, MA

Ypulse’s January monthly survey found that 55% of 13-32-year-olds say that the one tech device they cannot live without is their smartphone, and that makes dying batteries a major issue for mobile-dependent young consumers. As app usage increases, battery life quickly decreases—but a new solution to the perpetually dying phone battery is here. Ikea has announced a line of tables, desks, and lamps that will be able to wirelessly charge some mobile devices—simply place a phone on the surface and it begins to fuel up. The furniture is due to hit European and North American stores in April. We expect the design of products and spaces will likely continue to shift to accommodate smartphone addictions. (Wall Street JournalRefinery29)

Who knew a tweet could be worth so much? The marketing power of social media users could be validated by a new study that reports a single tweet, when sent out one to five weeks before a film’s release, can add $560 to a movie’s opening weekend box office numbers. Catchy tweets illustrating intentions to see the movie or encouraging others to watch are worth $4,420 four weeks before the movie’s release. More than 30 million people reportedly tweet about movies each month, and this could be valuable information as Hollywood struggles at a time when there are increasingly more entertainment options for young consumers. (MediaPost)

A recently released study on young consumers and cars claims that “once Millennials gain spending power, the auto industry is going to be turned upside down.” A reported 47% of Millennials believe that cars, and which brand of car they own, really matter. The findings contradict the common perception that young consumers don’t care about cars and are choosing ride-sharing companies or the urban bicycle movement over their own vehicles. The study reports that Millennials have a “surprising affinity” for Volkswagen and Tesla, for its use of technology and commitment to social good. The research also predicts this generation of car owners will “prioritize brands based on alignment with their own personal values.” (Huffington Post)

Although 58% of 13-17-year-olds said eating healthy is extremely important to them in a 2014 Ypulse monthly survey, it can be hard for teens and tweens to make the right nutrition decisions. Research has found that despite attempts to bring more fruits and veggies into school lunch rooms, six out of 10 kids “won’t even touch a healthy option on their plate.” One study suggests that food presentation makes a difference in fruit and vegetable consumption, and putting vegetables before other food in the lunch line can get them to eat more. For teens, linking healthy eating to something they already care about can help encourage better diets, while the counting calories approach actually leads to unhealthier eating. (Medical Daily)

Kid content is ruling YouTube. Six of the current top 10 most popular YouTube channels are children-focused, making the launch of the standalone YouTube Kids app look like a pretty smart move. Funtoys Collector, the toy-unboxing channel, is the most viewed creator on YouTube, usurping PewDiePie as the site’s biggest star, and showing the power of the unboxing trend. The six children’s channels in the top 10 earned almost 2 billion views in January alone, and YouTube’s top 100 channels saw viewing increase 110% in the last year, from 7 billion video views in January 2014 to 14.7 billion in January 2015. (The Guardian)

We don’t just deliver data. Along with our bi-weekly survey result data files, we provide our Gold subscribers with a topline report that synthesizes hand-picked, illuminating data points and our insights and expertise. Interesting differences between males and females, older and younger Millennials, ethnicities, and more are highlighted, and relevant statistics are streamlined into an easily consumed, concise, visual takeaway. (Ypulse)

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