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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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: "GoPro does a great job appealing to my generation because they convince regular people that they are adventurous, like many college kids like to think of themselves." –Male, 22, MD

Facebook continues to evolve to keep up with social platform competitors attracting younger users. The site has announced changes to their standalone chat app Messenger that will transform it into a platform that third parties can develop content and services for, including games, hotel bookings, tickets, and peer-to-peer payments. The new Businesses on Messenger feature would allow users to chat with brands to make purchases and change orders, and could make shopping a more personal experience. Facebook will also be adding the ability to chat with memes and GIFs, features that have proved popular with young consumers on other chat apps. (re/code,Fast Company)

Millennials are wary of investments, and generally anxious about their finances, and some have turned to new services that let them take baby steps into the financial world. More traditional institutions have certainly taken notice. Northwestern Mutual recently acquired LearnVest, a startup that offers free and paid financial planning services including articles, advice, and access to an expert for guidance on spending and budgets. The purchase is the latest in a trend of financial tech companies being snapped up by older, less digitally savvy brands. (FortuneBusiness Insider)

While many startups and sites are working to combat cyberbullying, one app is receiving an enormous amount of backlash for fostering the behavior in high schools. Burnbook allows users to join communities, usually around a school, remain anonymous, and post on topics of their choice. Although the app encourages “jokes, fails, wins, shout outs, revelations, proclamations, and confessions,” posts have been used to target specific people and groups, and threats have been made to at least one school. Some parents and teens are trying to use the app to spread positivity, but those posts don’t seem to outweigh the “gruesome things.” (Mashable)

Toys “R” Us will begin to sell an experience alongside its products with the hope of regaining their footing in the toy industry. Discount options like Wal-Mart and Amazon have hurt the chain’s sales over the past few years, so new plans to revamp stores will add physical play areas and more technology for kids to interact with. The retailer wants to be a place “where kids want to go and play,” and their new prototype store will open later this year. (Bloomberg)

For better or for worse, technology is becoming an intrinsic part of childhood, but boys and girls might not be growing up with the same tech experiences. A new study of parents of kids ages two to nine found that in many cases, parents give their children different devices depending on their gender. Sons were more likely to be given smartphones or gaming devices while daughters received more tablets (73% vs. 65% for boys). Parents were also more likely to use tech to calm down sons, with 48% using a device to help soothe boys when they are upset, compared to 37% for girls. (Kidscreen)

That image at the bottom of our newsletter is a gateway to insights and expert commentary on current and future Millennial trends. Clicking on it takes readers to our daily insights article, available to Silver and Gold subscribers, which illuminates a facet of Millennial culture and helps subscribers to understand the "why" behind the "what." Drawing from our ongoing collection of proprietary data, our deep-dive desk research, and our 10-year history of studying this generation, we figure out what it all means for brands and marketers. (Ypulse)

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