Everything you need to know about Gen Z and Millennial research and marketing, at your fingertips.

The Newsfeed

“My resolutions are to improve myself mentally, physically, spiritually. My top resolution involves paying down all of my debt.”—Female, 21, PA

Facebook is tweaking its algorithm to prioritize content from friends over content from brands. The change, which won’t affect ads, should help foster digital friendships and diffuse the spread of fake news—all part of the plan to help “fix Facebook” and “boost the well-being of users.” Seventy-seven percent of Millennials told Ypulse that social media platforms have a responsibility to prevent the spread of false information/fake news, and Facebook argues that this change could help diversify the opinions that users are exposed to. (CNN)

A new device that debuted at CES lets parents stop their teens’ distracted driving. Derive VQ syncs up with teens’ phones, only allowing the car to start once their seat belt is on. Once the vehicle is started, the phone locks and can only be used for emergencies. Parents can also enforce real-time speed limits that adjust in different zones to not allow the teen to exceed the designated miles per hour. While restrictions can be lightened up, the tech is another example of the next parenting generation being able to digitally helicopter their kids. (CNET)

Drugstore beauty wants to dethrone the cult brands competing for young consumers. From CoverGirl to St. Ives, drugstore staples have taken a new tack to reach young shoppers by switching up slogans, introducing “[M]illennial-friendly packaging,” and hosting experiential pop-ups (which Ypulse predicts we’ll see more of in 2018). They’re “future-proofing” themselves by leveraging The Influencer Effect (and moving towards micro-influencers) and cutting corporate red tape to expedite their response to trends. (Fashionista)

Astrology is on the rise, even if Millennials don’t actually believe in it. As we explored in our recent Practical Magic trend, astrology trending for the entertainment factor, as well as a desire for self-reflection. The allure may lie in feeling real and relatable, rather than true: “Millennials are more comfortable living in the borderlands between skepticism and belief because they’ve spent so much of their lives online, in another space that is real and unreal at the same time.” And publications aren’t missing the chance to monetize the moment: The Hairpin even features columns like “Astrology is Fake But Taurus Hates Change.” (The Atlantic)

Instagram ads are the new infomercials, selling “As Seen On TV”-style products like novelty sweatshirts and luxe shower caps. One exec explains that “Millennials grew up cynical, suspicious of the world,” but that they trust Instagram—an easy in for marketers selling knick-knacks. The ads themselves create a sense of FOMO in young consumers, who are afraid of the newly necessary object disappearing from their feed forever, and leverage “implied scarcity” and “immediate discounts” to urge them to click “buy.” (Racked)

“I don't have any New Year’s Day traditions, other than sleeping in and not working.”—Male, 31, CA

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