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

“Most of the role models and leaders in my life have been Gen Xers so far."

–Male, 16, WI

Instagram has reached 700 million active users, and its growth has been speeding up. The app hit the new user mark just four months after reaching 600 million, and the introduction of Instagram stories in August may be a major contributor to its accelerated growth. The feature has a reported 200 million daily active users compared to Snapchat’s 161 million. Overall, Instagram now has twice the user base of Twitter and is quickly approaching the coveted 1 billion user mark that Facebook, WhatsApp, and Messenger have reached. (TechCrunch)

Millennials are using social media and YouTube to decide what to buy. A U.K. study found 32% of 18-24-year-olds are using social media to research their purchase decisions before checking out, and 25% are using video platforms like YouTube. There are also signs they’d like to search for products on social media: 25% of U.K. 18-24-year-olds reported the desire to search media based on their lifestyle and 23% would like search to understand their current mood. These findings, paired with the detailed targeting available to advertisers, are changing the consumer journey from search query to cart. (AdvertisingWeek)

Millennials are keeping 70% of their money in cash, reluctant to invest in anything, from stocks to their own retirement plans—according to new BlackRock research. Clearly impacted by the Great Recession, Millennials are most likely to agree, "What you might earn investing isn't worth the risk of losing your money," and a third say “they learned what not to do with their money” from watching their parents. They also tend to undervalue the potential returns of investments by millions of dollars, which is not good news for their futures—at their current rate, most Millennials will have less than $1 million saved for retirement. (TheStreet)

Influencer marketing is proving its worth. Though marketers have worried about determining ROI with the approach, one report is claiming it’s more effective than advertising alone, showing a direct lift in results rates of up to 30%. Across 450 influencers and 11 campaigns, the expansive research compared results from consumers exposed to ads featuring influencers versus control groups, overwhelmingly showing increased action when an influencer was involved. Good news for marketers, who spent $570 million on influencer marketing on Instagram alone last year. (Adweek)

The Amazon Echo can now help pick your outfit—and tell you when you don’t look good. LED lights and a depth-sensing camera will let the new Echo Look take pictures of any look, and “Style Check” software “combines machine learning algorithms with advice from fashion specialists” to evaluate which outfit is best, and lets you compare pictures of multiple outfits, from multiple angles. Amazon’s already extensive product recommendations could feasibly be a part of this product’s future—and, if all goes well, a drone will ship the recommended new clothes to your door. (Quartz)

“I want to work for myself so that I can have more flexibility and be my own boss. I have an online business.”
—Female, 16, FL

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