The New Mobile Storytellers

In Millennial minds, the world is just waiting for them to record it. According to Ypulse’s research, 70% of Millennials say that they use their phone’s camera frequently, making it the third most used feature after messaging (91% use frequently) and phone calls (75% use frequently). It’s no secret that photo apps have skyrocketed in popularity in the past few years, with Instagram and Snapchat leading the pack. Millennials’ heavy use of their smart devices' cameras is about their increased reliance on visual communication using apps like these—but it is also about their desire to tell their stories to those around them. Their Instagram feed becomes a visual timeline and public journal that showcases not only the people, places, and things that fill their days, but, thanks to filters and comments, also their mood at the time. It’s the story of their lives. But their increased reliance on mobile video is making that storytelling even more advanced. Vine launched in early 2013, and an April Ypulse survey found that 4% of 14-18-year-olds were using the app—but by October the number had increased drastically to 19% for the same age group. A quick perusal of the most viral Vine stars shows just how creatively some Millennials are telling visual stories, even in short six-second clips. But not everyone can easily craft a story, even if they want to share one, and just as photo apps evolved to allow amateur users to look like pros thanks to a click of a filter, video apps are evolving to help Millennials be the storytellers they want to be. Whether documenting their own stories or creating new ones, thanks to some emerging apps and tools it is becoming easier than ever for them to express their creativity. Here are three of the most buzzed about apps in the visual storytelling space: 
 

 
 

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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “Right now, I’m living at home with my parents and completing my education while also working.” –Female, 21, CA

Christmas in September! The toy industry is predicting that 2015 could be the “best year in a decade” and Walmart is getting a jump on the biggest season, starting its Toy Week two weeks earlier than usual. The retailer forecasts the kid-tested toys that will be the biggest sellers, and Star Wars merchandise, food-related toys (for the mini-foodies), and animal themed playthings are all on the list. (MediaPost)

Sensitivity and political correctness are reportedly ruling some college campuses, and some believe that childhood coddling is to blame. Campus rules and guidelines are beginning to instruct avoiding “microaggressions,” small actions or words that are seen as violent or offensive (asking a non-white student “Where were you born,” for example). Some professors are also being asked to use “trigger warnings,” warnings when course material may include violence and abuse that could “trigger” the trauma of a student who experienced something similar in the past. (The Atlantic)

NBC’s American Ninja Warrior has sparked a full on fitness trend. The obstacle course that contestants battle their way through on the show is being replicated in gyms across the country so that anyone can train to be a Ninja Warrior. Some of these gyms have formed a National Ninja League to grow the sport, with Ninja competitions and championships. At the same time, the number of applicants to the show has skyrocketed, going from 5,000 at the end of season 6 to 50,000 at the end of season seven, the most recent. (Racked)

“Who lives in a pineapple under the sea” might soon be the lyrics in a major choreographed stage production. Get ready for The Spongebob Musical! Spongebob Squarepants is coming to Broadway, and a crazy amount of famous musicians are reportedly contributing to the musical score, including Aerosmith, John Legend, and David Bowie. Actors will play the now iconic children’s show characters, with no prosthetics or costumes, and the plot will be an original story that retains the quirkiness of the series. (Mashable)

It feels like a new brand fighting to become the next Chipotle, aka Millennial and teens new fast/fine casual dining favorite, appears every day—and there’s another to add to the list of ones to watch. Indikitch is a fast casual India food eatery that is planning their expansion in Manhattan. They make all-natural GMO-free ingredients a priority, use an assembly-line set-up similar to Chipotle, and pride themselves on non-bland food with spice and heat. (Business Insider)

Quote of the Day: “My favorite store to shop in is The Apple Store. Best store layout i have every experienced. They have the products I want and the expertise to answer any questions.” –Male, 19, VA

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