App Overload: The Friday Don’t Miss List

Your weekly round-up of the topics we’ve covered this week along with all the things that might not have made it in our posts the first time around, but that you should not miss…

1. Back to the Future
The Internet of Things (IoT) has infiltrated domestic homes, turning egg cartons into sensory items and allowing objects to communicate with each other. While smart objects at home aim to make life easier, don’t miss IoT integration in the workplace, where it’s not just about things, but about empowering people. Technology will increase productivity by providing assistance for routine tasks and allowing meetings to happen whenever, wherever, and however, an idea that aligns with Millennials’ idea of a flexible work-life balance. 66% of Millennials are also open to wearable devices in the workplace. Good thing, because by 2025, 1 trillion devices are estimated to be connected worldwide.
 
2. Superheroines Catching Fire
Strong female comic book characters and superheroines are at the forefront of Millennial media, and we let you know how fans are speaking up to put Wonder Woman, Black Widow, and Hit Girl in starring roles. Though production power ultimately falls to movie execs, fans pay tribute with their wallets, so don’t miss media chatter that The Hunger Games’ second installment Catching Fire may beat the first film at the box office by a longshot. The film celebrates Katniss, the lead, for her tenacity, and has also inspired a surge in interest for archery, her signature skill.
 
3. Drinks Drop the Beat
We let you know that luxury is being turned on its side in favor adventure and authenticity when it comes to the tastes of drinking age Millennials, so don’t miss AR Mixer, an app being developed to infuse augmented reality with alcohol to make every drink a hit. Users can…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“I observe holidays and religion-based traditions but am more connected to it as a culture than as a religion.”—Female, 27, MA

Chinese youth have a “selfie obsession” that’s changing beauty standards and creating a new tier of celebrity. The Influencer Effect is full blown in China, where young consumers are beautifying their selfies via filter apps like Meitu and plastic surgery—all in the quest to look more like wang hong, their internet celebrities. One influencer, HoneyCC, argues that “Selfies are part of Chinese culture now, and so is Meitu-editing selfies.” But some say the trend is pushing the population to become more homogenous by favoring certain features, and headlines have lashed back against the whitening of skin prevalent in social apps. (The New Yorker)

Eighty-one percent of Bustle, Romper, and Elite Daily’s Millennial readers say social media is the best way for advertisers to reach them. Bustle’s latest questionnaire also found that 40% of their 18-34-year-old readers prefer Instagram for brand communications, followed by trusted websites, email, and online articles. Some other fun insights: Over half believe that a company should give back, instead of just turning a profit, and 49% think “companies should do more to protect the environment.” (Adweek)

Drug use is down among teens—except when it comes to marijuana and vaping. From the 1990s to 2017, the percentage of teens who said they’d been drunk dropped from 46% and 58%, and those reporting they’ve smoked cigarettes from 26% and 17%. However, marijuana use increased for the first time in seven years in 2017, while vaping is up as well, with at least 19% of high school seniors, 16% of sophomores, and 8% of eighth-graders saying they’ve vaped in the past year. (LATimes)

Two modern dating shows are coming to Facebook Watch. The first “unscripted dating show” from SoulPancake, Love & Longitude, is shot on iPhones and shows two potential love interests’ relationship blossoming across FaceTime, social media, and other digital interactions. The second dating show from Machinima, Co-Op Connection, plays into the esports craze. One bachelor gets to pick his partner based on their personality—and their skills at the videogame, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. (tubefiltertubefilter)

Some cities are past their “peak Millennial” populations, as the generation increasingly finds new digs in the suburbs. Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles all reached their highest Millennial population in 2015, and New York and Washington D.C. are showing slowing Millennial growth, according to U.S. Census data. Meanwhile Chicago’s suburbs and others have seen an uptick in their young adult populations—another Millennial myth debunked. Which urban centers are still attracting the demo as they age up? “Tech hubs” like Seattle and San Francisco. (Time)

“Crochet and knitting are very relaxing, therapeutic, and have tangible results."—Female, 31, AL

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