The Rise of Snap-Judgment Dating

If you haven’t heard of Tinder yet, you probably haven’t been hanging out with any single Millennials lately. The dating app has become big buzz in recent months, finding popularity on college campuses and in urban dating scenes alike. The basic premise of Tinder is to connect you with new people in your area (within a 50 mile radius) that you already have common interests with. Using Facebook information, the service presents potential matches to the user based on a rating composed from a combination of shared friends, interests, and networks. Once two users have expressed mutual interest in one another and a match has been made, they can chat through the app and then meet up in real life.
 
On one level, Tinder is a perfect example of the technology that facilitates Millennials’ real-life interactions. It connects people with common interests, and allows them to test the waters of communication by chatting casually through the app before deciding to actually meet. A useful service with a positive purpose: helping young digitally savvy people meet and find love, and one that some may say is especially needed in the modern dating world where old structures of courtship have broken down.
 
But on another level, Tinder puts the superficial snap-judgment front and center in the pre-dating process. The most addictive (and talked about) feature of the app is the ability to filter through potential dates with the swipe of a finger. Images (and the name and age) of possible matches are shown in a seemingly endless stream and then pushed into “like” or “pass” categories— mostly based just on their profile picture, and often in a mere few seconds. Think Hot or Not for dating. To use another comparison, it is essentially the digital version of the now-defunct MTV dating show Next, in which…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: "An athletic hoodie never goes out of style according to me. It's easy, can get dirty, and you'll show a bit of school pride. Besides, no one expects you to look top dollar every day in graduate school.” –Male, 27, MD

The hyper-monitored childhood of the next generation has them growing up tech-supervised, and now teenagers are getting the same treatment with the new app Ignore No More, dreamed up by one frustrated mom. The app gives parents the ability to control their children’s phones, shutting down everything but parent-approved contacts and forcing them to call home for the unlock passcode. Since Millennials consider their mobile devices to be their personal and private property, installing the app might prove to be the biggest challenge. (Jezebel)

Teen males have been the most sought after demographic in the gaming world—until now. Females make up 48% of gamers in the U.S. and women over 18 outnumber teen males in the game-playing space, especially with the “surge in casual mobile gaming” apps like Candy Crush, Hay Day, and Kim Kardashian: Hollywood. The increase of women gamers extends well past smartphones, and male-targeted games, like Assassin's Creed, are opened up to a new audience thanks to the prevalence of "couples play." (WSJ)

Instagram can be used for more than just image sharing, and since Mazda feels the platform is “still a bit untapped,” they are charging ahead with a new digital-only marketing campaign to promote the MX-5 Roadster. The Mazda Canada account will debut a new 9-tile magazine page spread each week, where each square in the design opens to a video showing “history vignettes” about the car’s design and mechanics. This Insta-mag campaign will serve as a soft launch for the Roadster to 18-35-year-olds, giving them quick, visual bites of information that build the car's story and appeal. (StreamDaily)

Michelle Phan, an original YouTube star, has been able to translate her online fame offline through a makeup brand, beauty subscription service, book deal, and the creation of a digital network to scout and manage new online talent. Millennials find online stars more approachable and authentic than professionals and Hollywood A-listers, a reason why these days “any company that has money is approaching YouTubers.” Since 80% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the U.S., stars like Phan are planning to expand to branded partnerships in global markets. (Mercury News)

It is easier than ever to unknowingly enter unwanted contracts online, so a group of teens is pushing to reinstate a lawsuit against Facebook for using their names and images in social ads, even though the fine print lets the social network do so. While this generation is concerned about privacy and content rights online, the court originally felt that putting user content in social ads was a “fair exchange” for using the social network. (MediaPost)

Need to know what a certain subset of Millennials is thinking? Silver and Gold Tier subscribers have access to Advanced Instant Poll tools, giving them the ability to submit questions to our mobile social community of 2 million 13-34-year-olds and target specific ages and gender like female teens or males of college-age. Targeting by age or gender (or both!) gets more focused responses and can be used for gut-checks statistics on key demographics. (Ypulse)

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