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The 10 Most-Clicked Youth News Stories of 2017

A very hot YouTube show, Millennial entrepreneurs, Netflix’s new revenue, Instagrammability and more feature in the news stories that readers like you clicked the most this year…

Every day, we hand-pick the most interesting and relevant stories about Gen Z and Millennials for our readers, curating a list of the top pieces of must-know youth news in marketing, culture, lifestyle, and technology—along with a dose of Ypulse’s insight young consumers. Today, we’re counting down the 10 youth news stories of 2017. Here are the most-clicked items we reported on this year, from hot YouTube shows to Millennial entrepreneurs and beyond:

1. A Hot YouTube Show Pulls in Views

A show where celebrities are interviewed while eating hot wings has taken YouTube by storm. “Hot Ones” host Sean Evans asks celebrities ranging from Stephen Colbert to Kevin Durant a question for each of ten “increasingly hot” wings they must consume. And the Post-TV Gen loves it. Of the 110 total episodes (so far), 85 have over one million views on YouTube, with eight episodes accruing over five million views each. The most popular “Hot Ones,” featuring Kevin Hart, racked up over ten million. (Business Insider)

2. Netflix’s New (Millennial-Friendly) Revenue Model

Netflix is making merch to capitalize on Stranger Things fan fervor, and it’s the start of a new revenue model for the streaming giant. Target and Hot Topic are partnering up with Netflix to sell sweaters, coffee mugs, and more with designs inspired by the unbelievably popular show, and board games like Monopoly and Clue are getting Stranger Things spinoffs. While season two of the show is technically “over,” delving into the licensing biz will keep the money flowing. Considering Netflix just hired a corporate heavy hitter to head their licensing efforts, expect to see more SVOD show-specific merch hitting shelves. (Ad Age)

3. The Most Popular Spot on Airbnb

A tree house takes the top spot for Airbnb’s “most requested listing ever.” The hidden gem is right outside Atlanta, Georgia, and is actually three separate tree houses, each with a different theme: mind, spirit, and body. The Secluded Intown Treehouse has been around for over 18 years, but Airbnb, and no doubt some social media savvy guests, have placed the unique experience firmly in the spotlight. The Wanderlust Generation will have to be patient to nab this dream destination, though—more than 300,000 people visit the listing each month and it’s booked over a year out. (Refinery29)

4. Refinery29’s “Instant Hit” Financial Series

Millennials can’t get enough of Refinery 29’s Money Diary. The article series, which launched in the beginning of 2016, follows women with diverse salaries and budgets going though a week’s worth of spending, outlining their day-to-day expenses. According to the senior editor of Refinery29’s “Work & Money” content, the series has been an “instant hit” because of its “voyeuristic element,” and because “it’s a relief to see how your peers are making it work or not.” (MarketWatch)

5. The Most Heart-Eyes Emoji Brand

Google is the sunglasses wearing emoji and Marlboro is an angry face emoji, according to a new Brand Emoji Index. Respondents were given seven emojis to choose from to describe how they feel about 100 select brands, and (in results unsurprising to Ypulse) Amazon received the most heart eyes of all brands included. Some other highlights: IBM received the most sleepy faces, luxury brands, like Gucci, were more likely to receive rolled eyes, while financial services and telecom companies overwhelmingly earned angry faces. (MediaPost)

6. The Ice Cream Disrupter with Instagram on Their Side

Halo Top’s strong Insta-game and skyrocketing sales go hand in hand. The guilt-free, all natural ice cream brand has seen a 160% increase in followers in the past ten months, side-by-side with a 2,500% increase in sales the past year, as their product expanded to freezers nationwide—all without spending “a penny” on advertising. The secrets behind their social strategy? Using minimalist, bright images that focus on packaging, and pairing up posts with celebrity birthdays, all topped off with some sprinkles of humor. (Digiday)

7. The Fashion Instagram of the Boarding School Elite

An elite boarding school has its own fashion Instagram, and it’s “’Humans of New York’ crossed with a J.Crew catalog.” Not only are the most “dapper” students photographed and added to the account with a personal quote, but to make the cut, they’re voted on. There’s a board of “fashionable peers” to identify and vote students in or out, literally called The Board. You can bet some of the threads selected cost a pretty penny, considering tuition is $50,888 per year—but the account does aim to showcase “outstanding” outfits over merely expensive ones, so there may be less Lacoste than you guessed. (Business Insider)

8. Millennials Set McDonald’s Straight on the Whole Kale Thing

Millennials wasted no time setting McDonald’s straight about what their favorite ingredient is. The chain’s new Signature Sriracha Sandwich has baby kale in it, and one reporter dubbed the green, “Millennials’ Favorite Ingredient.” But the internet quickly latched onto the headline, responding with their real favorite ingredients en masse. Answers included, “Student debt,” “dank memes,” “a livable wage,” “affordable housing,” “Xanax,” and “the death of what Baby Boomers adore.” (Huffington Post)

9. A Millennial’s Plan to Be the Next Disney—of Instagrammable Spaces

The brain behind the Museum of Ice Cream wants to fill all those empty retail spaces with Instagrammable experiences. The “unnervingly [M]illennial” Maryellis Bunn thinks traditional experiences, like museums, missed the memo on how to appeal to upcoming generations, and views “retail as a dead industry.” In her mind, as shopping moves online, all of those vacant spaces are opportunities to create new Instagram-worthy experiences. With the Museum of Ice Cream a continued success (she plans to open 180 around the world), her ultimate goal is to be “the next Disney,” and fill whole city blocks with her interactive installations. (NYMag)

10. Showercaps Get the Millennial Treatment

A Millennial entrepreneur has turned shower caps into a multi-million-dollar company. Jacquelyn De Jesu started Shhhowercap after she attempted to hunt down a stylish one herself and found there was a “total whitespace” in the market: “I was confronted with gigantic satin bows, ruffles, sequins, flower rosettes, rhinestones and tacky medallions. Nothing that my friends or I would ever consider wearing, let alone admit that we did!” Over $15,000 worth of her fashionable caps were sold after Shhhowercap went live, and they can now be found at Sephora, Bloomingdales, and Fred Segal. (Forbes