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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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: "GoPro does a great job appealing to my generation because they convince regular people that they are adventurous, like many college kids like to think of themselves." –Male, 22, MD

Facebook continues to evolve to keep up with social platform competitors attracting younger users. The site has announced changes to their standalone chat app Messenger that will transform it into a platform that third parties can develop content and services for, including games, hotel bookings, tickets, and peer-to-peer payments. The new Businesses on Messenger feature would allow users to chat with brands to make purchases and change orders, and could make shopping a more personal experience. Facebook will also be adding the ability to chat with memes and GIFs, features that have proved popular with young consumers on other chat apps. (re/code,Fast Company)

Millennials are wary of investments, and generally anxious about their finances, and some have turned to new services that let them take baby steps into the financial world. More traditional institutions have certainly taken notice. Northwestern Mutual recently acquired LearnVest, a startup that offers free and paid financial planning services including articles, advice, and access to an expert for guidance on spending and budgets. The purchase is the latest in a trend of financial tech companies being snapped up by older, less digitally savvy brands. (FortuneBusiness Insider)

While many startups and sites are working to combat cyberbullying, one app is receiving an enormous amount of backlash for fostering the behavior in high schools. Burnbook allows users to join communities, usually around a school, remain anonymous, and post on topics of their choice. Although the app encourages “jokes, fails, wins, shout outs, revelations, proclamations, and confessions,” posts have been used to target specific people and groups, and threats have been made to at least one school. Some parents and teens are trying to use the app to spread positivity, but those posts don’t seem to outweigh the “gruesome things.” (Mashable)

Toys “R” Us will begin to sell an experience alongside its products with the hope of regaining their footing in the toy industry. Discount options like Wal-Mart and Amazon have hurt the chain’s sales over the past few years, so new plans to revamp stores will add physical play areas and more technology for kids to interact with. The retailer wants to be a place “where kids want to go and play,” and their new prototype store will open later this year. (Bloomberg)

For better or for worse, technology is becoming an intrinsic part of childhood, but boys and girls might not be growing up with the same tech experiences. A new study of parents of kids ages two to nine found that in many cases, parents give their children different devices depending on their gender. Sons were more likely to be given smartphones or gaming devices while daughters received more tablets (73% vs. 65% for boys). Parents were also more likely to use tech to calm down sons, with 48% using a device to help soothe boys when they are upset, compared to 37% for girls. (Kidscreen)

That image at the bottom of our newsletter is a gateway to insights and expert commentary on current and future Millennial trends. Clicking on it takes readers to our daily insights article, available to Silver and Gold subscribers, which illuminates a facet of Millennial culture and helps subscribers to understand the "why" behind the "what." Drawing from our ongoing collection of proprietary data, our deep-dive desk research, and our 10-year history of studying this generation, we figure out what it all means for brands and marketers. (Ypulse)

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