Group Dating: The More the Merrier

Hook-up culture among young adults has been getting a lot of (potentially overblown) hype lately, and though some say the digital age has brought about the “death of courtship,” a new movement is beginning to define Millennial date nights. New apps and platforms are using Millennials’ fast paced lives to their advantage, providing instantaneous events and ideas that get them away from trolling online profiles and instead connecting IRL, and some young daters are turning to new services that are ushering users out the door to find their next connection, friend, hook-up, soul mate, or otherwise—with their friends in tow.
 
Group dating is on the rise, with a growing number of services, apps and sites being created to take the awkwardness out of a one-on-one night with a stranger. The trend only makes sense for the group-oriented generation; who view their friends as their safety net and thrive in using the digital world as a tool to foster offline connections. Group dating takes friend connections to a new level by increasing the possibilities for a match and erasing the fear many young people have about blind dates. Some older dating sites like Match.com have been experimenting with offline group “non-dates” to bring users from behind their screens. But services focused on organizing group-dates are catching the attention of more and more single Millennials who are looking for easy, comfortable ways to meet up, and are bypassing the trappings  and troubles of online dating. 

 

Grouper
Ever wished you could bring a wingman on a date? Grouper, a group date site and app that seems to be leading the group date movement, lets you bring two. You are matched with another group of three friends, putting the odds ever in your favor by providing three viable romantic choices at once.…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“[Anna Victoria is] a good role model to women and is changing the way the world looks at fitness and body image.”—Female, 21, CA

Abercrombie & Fitch is going gender-neutral for their new kids’ clothing line. The “Everybody Collection” features “tops, bottoms, and accessories” for five-14-year-old boys and girls. A&F’s Brand President explained their decision to appeal to The Genreless Generation: "Parents and their kids don’t want to be confined to specific colors and styles, depending on whether shopping for a boy or a girl.'' The line of 25 new styles will be rolling out online and to 70 stores, starting this month. (Today)

Millennials & Gen Z already think the Nintendo Switch is cool, and now the brand is giving them more ways to use it. They’re introducing Nintendo Labo, “cardboard-based, interactive DIY experiences” for the Switch, tapping into the “toys-to-life” trend. The variety kit lets players construct five different “Toy-Con” experiences that include turning the Joy-Con controller into a motorbike handle complete with a throttle that can be twisted to accelerate, and creating a piano that senses which keys are pressed to produce the correct musical note. (Kidscreen)

YouTube is pulling Tide Pod Challenge videos from its platform. Teens started eating Tide pods when memes showcasing their Gusher-like colors went viral. The brand has since issued warnings not to eat the pods, and some stores have even begun locking up the product. YouTube has explained the decision to take down the popular pod-eating videos as a continuation of their policy to “prohibit content that’s intended to encourage dangerous activities that have an inherent risk of physical harm." Some are suggesting that pressure from parent company Procter & Gamble may have also been a factor. (Mashable)

The streaming wars are continuing, but audiences are turning to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime for very different kinds of content. Hub Entertainment Research found original content is winning users' time on Netflix, while over half watch Hulu for its syndicated collection, and movies are most popular on Amazon Prime. The study also found that most Americans overall spend their entertainment time watching TV (40%), but 18-24-year-olds are most likely to engage with gaming and online video, like YouTube. (Quartz)

Outdoor Voices embraced Millennials’ minimal moment to break onto the athleisure scene. The brandless brand goes for a minimalist aesthetic with pops of color, and sees itself as an anti-Nike of sorts. The founder explains that they’re “a recreational Nike” because “With Nike and so many other brands, it’s really about being an expert, being the best. With OV, it’s about how you stay healthy—and happy.” Whatever they’re doing, it’s working: the company has grown rapidly since it was founded in 2013, climbing a startling 800% in 2016 alone. (Vogue)

“I saw some heartbreaking stories in the internet, and decided to look up some international charities and donate to them.”—Male, 20, WA

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