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

“Art is basically my job and I enjoy it so much.”—Female, 15, MD

Snap is making its “biggest move” in scripted original content, teaming up with NBCUniversal and the Duplass brothers for their next series. The Duplass-owned creative studio Donut will produce original series for Snap shot in vertical video. NBCU and Snap will also be opening a joint digital content studio focused completely on mobile-first entertainment, “formaliz[ing] their partnership” and putting Snap firmly in the producing/original content creation camp. Snap’s mobile-only approach is part of a movement to shake up how we view videos—in fact, they’re calling their offering “a fundamentally new medium.” (THRTechCrunch)

Eggo frozen waffles are capitalizing on their unexpected Stranger Things’ fame. The brand has seized the marketing opportunity of being a part of one of Millennials & Gen Z’s favorite shows, tying themselves into Netflix’s Super Bowl ad, creating a special toaster for select fans, and swarming New York Comic Con with people dressed up like Eleven armed with “watch party kits” (aka “waffles and a microwavable syrup server”). To prep for the premiere of season two of the show, Eggo is sending out a fully-loaded food truck for the red carpet premiere, and going all out on social media to connect with fans. (MediaPost)

More teens than ever have severe anxiety, but why? The American College Health Association found a 12% increase in undergrads reporting “overwhelming anxiety” from 2011 to 2016, and several studies concur that “there’s just been a steady increase of severely anxious students.” Social media is part of the problem—constant like-monitoring and cyber bullying isn’t helping the most stressed generation to date. There’s also an increasing (and constant) perceived need to over-achieve. One psychology professor observes, “There’s always one more activity, one more A.P. class, one more thing to do in order to get into a top college.” (NYTimes)

Ypulse research has shown that 88% of Millennial parents are trying to avoid helicopter parenting—but they might not be able to help it. The constant media storm of global atrocities and everyday stories of parenting gone wrong combined with advertisers’ willingness to fear-monger, results in a generation of (understandably) anxious parents. It doesn’t help that the tech to constantly monitor kids is easily available (albeit pricey)—from drone surveillance meant for the military to devices that track “blood-oxygen levels all night long.” One relationship therapist sums up, “Everyone is having a hard time drawing a line and just figuring out what’s reasonable versus what’s over-protective.” (Refinery29)

Brands are turning college students into mini-sales forces. Aerie, Victoria’s Secret Pink, and Express are just a few of the many brands that have a program for college campus reps where students receive swag, experience, and other perks for helping bring brand awareness to their colleges. Though brands don’t always require social posts, most ambassadors do share their swag on social, bringing organic ads to their friends’ feeds. The biggest draw is that social posts from reps “[come] across as natural, authentic, a product that they would normally use or want to talk about.” (Racked)

“[Celebrity] can mean anything nowadays and it's a rather diluted term; from YouTube star, to someone on Instagram with millions of followers, to reality TV dopes, etc.”—Male, 30, WI

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