The Rise of Snap-Judgment Dating

If you haven’t heard of Tinder yet, you probably haven’t been hanging out with any single Millennials lately. The dating app has become big buzz in recent months, finding popularity on college campuses and in urban dating scenes alike. The basic premise of Tinder is to connect you with new people in your area (within a 50 mile radius) that you already have common interests with. Using Facebook information, the service presents potential matches to the user based on a rating composed from a combination of shared friends, interests, and networks. Once two users have expressed mutual interest in one another and a match has been made, they can chat through the app and then meet up in real life.
 
On one level, Tinder is a perfect example of the technology that facilitates Millennials’ real-life interactions. It connects people with common interests, and allows them to test the waters of communication by chatting casually through the app before deciding to actually meet. A useful service with a positive purpose: helping young digitally savvy people meet and find love, and one that some may say is especially needed in the modern dating world where old structures of courtship have broken down.
 
But on another level, Tinder puts the superficial snap-judgment front and center in the pre-dating process. The most addictive (and talked about) feature of the app is the ability to filter through potential dates with the swipe of a finger. Images (and the name and age) of possible matches are shown in a seemingly endless stream and then pushed into “like” or “pass” categories— mostly based just on their profile picture, and often in a mere few seconds. Think Hot or Not for dating. To use another comparison, it is essentially the digital version of the now-defunct MTV dating show Next, in which…

 
 

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Quote of the Day: “I participated in Bikram Yoga, because I found a few YouTube tutorials on it.” –Female, 24, MN

Being featured in the (racy) lyrics of Beyoncé’s hit single “Formation” has caused Red Lobster’s sales to spike 33%. But a wave of frustration hit Twitter after the brand took too long to respond to the song, and failed to live up to expectations. One user advised,“Yo @redlobster, all you have to do is NOT f*** up. Just give the Twitter over to your highest ranking Black person under 33. Trust me.” But after eight hours Red Lobster tweeted an underwhelming: "Cheddar Bey Biscuits" has a nice ring to it,don't you think? #Formation @Beyonce.” The indecent highlights what young consumers expect from brands on social media. (MediaPostBuzzFeed)

The newly funded Stash investment app is hoping to “break down the barriers that prevent nearly three quarters of Millennials from investing.” To appeal to the risk-averse generation, the app allows users to invest as little as $5, and describes investments in easy theme-like terms, like “Clean and Green.” For the founders it’s all about setting up users for the long-term: “By lowering the minimum level of investment, enabling Millennials to invest in broad themes that they care about, and guiding them along the path toward building smart lifelong investment habits, Stash has the potential to empower an entire generation to reach their financial goals.” (Business Wire)

Fit has gone glam for Millennials—and not just in the U.S. Young Chinese women are embracing working out, and shifting traditional beauty ideals. In a 2003 survey, 1,000 working females cited an ideal body to be "an almost-emaciated, willowy physique," but social media and celebrity influence, as well as more awareness to physical health, are making strength the new goal. Women sharing their fitness journeys are becoming major influencers and creating new personal brands, and the fitness industry in China has grown 13% yearly since 2010. (Refinery29)

ESports—multi-player competitive video gaming—is expected to generate $463 million in ticket sales, merchandise, sponsorships, and advertising for 2016, and networks want a piece of the action. But can it translate to TV? TBS is premiering E-League, a 10-week eSports competition series that will stand as a true test on whether the phenomenon can “find the right balance between achieving scale and retaining its core audience of digitally forward young men.” Critics have good reason to be skeptical: ESPN2’s airing of an eSports college competition perplexed viewers, frustrated broadcasters, and scored a 0.1 Nielsen rating. (Adweek

British director Anthony Wilcox’s new action-packed thriller,Shield 5, is captivating audiences—the Instagram audience that is. The series, which currently has 30,000 followers, is being called “social cinema,” and each episode is the length of an Instagram video: just 15-seconds. Wilcox’s love for fast-turnaround projects and very low budget is what ultimately inspired him to choose the platform. There was also the potential to go viral: "If you’ve got the opportunity to show your work to a much, much bigger audience…all around the world, it might be worth trying it." (Fast Company

Quote of the Day: “I share my selfies by making it my profile picture.” —Female, 23, IL

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