Flash Robs: Teens Organize Negative Actions On Social Media

Today’s post comes from Ypulse’s Research Intern Phil Savarese.

Flash Robs: Teens Organize Negative Actions On Social Media

Millennials always want to be a part of something much bigger than themselves and the popularity of flash mobs is evidence to that. Social media makes it easier to orchestrate large events out of thin air and being part of a large group takes away the fear of being self-conscious to cut loose. A recent Lifeline quote stated: “Flash mobs are a big trend because it's easier to be crazy in a large group with a small amount of anonymity.” (Female, 25, FL).

But with the popularity and mass appeal of flash mobs, a sub-culture has emerged. Flash robs are a mischievous and dangerous type of flash mob, where participants (usually teens) gather at retail stores among other places and rush inside. Once there, they proceed to grab as much as they can and leave as quickly as possible. In and out.

Over the past few years, flash robs have become more common. Store owners are worried for the safety of both their customers and their stores profits. CBS New York reported on a wave of flash robs that have targeted various newsstands and convenience stores. One shop owner has been targeted a total seven times. In recent attacks, an employee was struck with a bottle and hospitalized while another left a customer with a broken arm. 

In 2011, the robberies got the attention of Washington state legislators. The Wall Street Journal reported that Senator Mike Carroll proposed a law that will classify a flash rob as organized retail theft (a felony) if nine or more individuals planned the crime using electronic messages and collectively steal $250 (previously $750) or more. Other legislators are worried that the decrease in the minimum amount stolen will cause the…

 
 

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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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