3 Gen Z Apps To Watch

These apps giving Gen Z the tools to create and consume mobile video hits could be ones to watch as their entertainment viewing continues to shift to smartphones…

Ypulse’s most recent media consumption tracker report and data is out today, and we continue to see that Gen Z’s video viewing is happening on their phones. When we asked 13-17-year-olds what screen they watch video content on the MOST, almost over 35% said smartphone, versus 25% who said TV. Mobile video is clearly where brands are heading to reach this young audience. Just take Snapchat: the app wants to be the future of TV, and mainstream cable is lining up to participate. Variety reports that they’ve partnered with the likes of Discover Channel, E!News, Comedy Central, and NBCU to roll out Snapchat Shows—short, “bespoke” original series that aim to revolutionize mobile viewing and make “content a more central part of the Snapchat experience.” A-listers like Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien are lending their talent, and traditional cable shows are producing Snap-sized snippets, with networks working closely with Snapchat to tailor content to the platform—and its audience.

But the mobile video that Gen Z is viewing isn’t just brand-created entertainment—arguably, the majority is video content created by friends and celebrities. Our Post-TV Gen trend research found that 87% of 13-17-year-old Snapchat users are watching videos made by friends on the platform, versus 38% who are watching videos made by brands. We saw the same pattern on Instagram and Facebook. Of course, Musical.ly is the perfect example of DIY, consumer-created video content being an entertainment force among tween and teen consumers. The uber-popular lip-syncing app has amassed over 200 million users since their 2014 launch, and 75% are female. Now, fashion…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“As a graphic designer, without the arts being available to me in school I would have been lost as a child and where to take my career path. The fact that schools are cutting art programs is heartbreaking.”—Female, 24, NJ

Applebee’s is putting down the sriracha and giving up on trying to appeal to Millennials. The brand has decided their newer menu items—like a “triple pork bonanza” sandwich—and attempt at a “modern bar and grill” reinvention has “alienate[d]” Boomers and Gen Xers. They’re shutting down more than 130 restaurants and bringing back initiatives from before their attempted “pendulum swing towards millennials,” all-you-can-eat specials and 2-for-$20 deals. Other brands are creating new spin off chains to appeal to fast-casual lovingMillennials, that “[lack] the associated baggage of the old.” (Inc, NPR)

Adults-only ball pits, bouncy houses, and giant slides are sweeping the U.K. Millennials seeking a break from adulthood are flocking to places like Wacky World’s “massive bouncy-castle obstacle course,” which started out as a children’s event. The founder received so many requests that now every event has an 18-and-over slot, and has expanded to 19 cities. This “trend for arrested development activities” is caused by nostalgia, but the influx of marketing and branding leveraging the emotion could be popularizing these playgrounds for adults. (The Guardian)

Facebook is responding to the trend of asking for birthday charitable donations by integrating it right into the platform. Users in the U.S. can now trade in all the “HBD”s they get on Facebook for donations to the cause of their choice: well-wishers will be notified of the birthday along with the selected non-profit, and get the chance to donate. Facebook will ask users which charity they wish to dedicate their day to two weeks in advance, allowing them to choose from 750,000 organizations. (TNW)

Appear Here is the Airbnb of pop-up shops, giving brands their perfect temporary store for the new era of retail. The company finds short term retail space, and has worked with big-name brands like Nike and Net-a-Porter to open “experimental activations” or “test new products.” As brick-and-mortar continues to suffer and long-term stores close, Appear Here says physical retail is still needed, but to “tell a story.” The pop-up industry was valued at $50 billion in 2015, and provides a more low-risk, flexible option to avoid the retail wasteland. (Glossy)

Millennials & Gen Z are turning a profit online and on mobile by re-selling their retail. Thredup, Poshmark, and Depop are just a few of the most popular brands cashing in on the resale economy’s $18 billion market, and some shoppers say they are making $300 a week on the platforms. Some are also using social to sell, often in conjunction with apps or sites, including Snapchat, Facebook Groups, and Instagram. College students on a budget are reportedly especially drawn to resale, thanks to convenience, value, and access to luxury at a lower price. (FN)

“Adult means being entirely independent. I pay my own bills, make all decisions in my life, and feel very in control.”—Male, 20, NY

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