Best Of 2012: Apps

We're continuing to wrap up our 2012 Year in Review coverage with a look back at the top apps of the year. Below Ypulse Youth Advisory Board member Julia Tanenbaum shares the top apps, which were standouts in 2012.

Best Of 2012: Apps

Instagram

InstagramInstagram became huge this year and in case you didn't know, it's esssentially a social network for photos. Although it includes several filters, which can edit the look of photos to make them look vintage or artsy, the main draw is the ability to share your photos with the rest of the instagram community. You have a photo stream, which operates like a Tumblr dashboard, and updates with your friends’ newest photos. You can also follow anyone you want, but Facebook integration makes it easy to share memories and everyday moments with your friends.

Songify

Have you ever wanted to be a rock star but you can’t sing? Do you love autotune as much as Kanye West? Well then this app is for you! Songify lets anyone become a singer by turning your speech into a song. This app is extremely entertaining and could lead to the next autotuned viral hit.

FlipboardFlipboard

This app goes one step beyond other news apps and combines your news and social media into a “magazine”. After adding your social networks and news outlets, you can see anything from a BBC news story to your friend’s Facebook status update on the same page. The gorgeous and accessible interface, features like commenting, and being able to save stories for later make this app a great way to streamline your news.

Game Apps:

Whale Trail Frenzy

This T3 Award App of the Year nominated flying game was a surprise hit of the year. With its colorful and adorable graphics and time tested Tiny Wings style gameplay, it is easy to pick up and hard to put down for casual gamers and hardcore Halo…

 
 

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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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