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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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “My favorite place to shop is a Best Buy store, because they have most of the electronics I like to look at and everything is setup for you to try the products out.”

—Male, 23, PA 

Fast food employees may soon be a thing of the past, as more restaurants gravitate towards automation to cater to the foodie generation. A new study from Frisch's Restaurants found that almost a third of 18-24-year-olds would rather order their food from a drive-thru because "they don't feel like dealing with people." The CEO of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. who has plans for fully automated restaurants in the near future, says he has seen young consumers’ aversion for social interaction himself: “I've actually seen young people waiting in line to use the kiosk where there's a person standing behind the counter, waiting on nobody." (Business Insider

Viceland’s tactics to get Millennials to turn on the TV may actually be working. Maybe. The recently launched network’s “adrenaline-fueled shows” are showing signs of successfully attracting a young audience. Compared to its predecessor, History’s H2 channel, the average 18-49 primetime audience has more than doubled, and the median viewer age of the channel has dropped 17 years, from 57 to 40. Viceland’s programming president takes that as a signal they’re “doing something right.” Two of their shows, Woman and Gaycation,have also been recognized with Emmy nominations. (NY Daily News

Millennials’ pizza obsession is reshaping the industry. U.S. pizza sales have reached $45 billion this year, up $38.5 billion in 2015, thanks to young consumers. Millennials are not only gravitating towards healthier options, but “consider the experience as significant as the food itself.” As a result, the fast-casual build-your-own-pizza model has been thriving. The restaurant 1000 Degrees, for example, has opened 25 franchises in the last two years with plans to have open another 30 by the year’s end. The CEO attributes success to high quality ingredients, and transparency on what goes on customizable pies. (CNBC

Nickelodeon is launching a kids’ music video channel. The MTV Hits channel is being rebranded to become NickMusic, a 24-hour music destination that will showcase kids’ favorite Top 40 artists across all genres, as well as branded and artist-hosted programming like Videos We HeartPop Playback and Bumpin’ Beats. It will also feature concert specials and “music-inspired series” like TeenNick Top 10. The channel isn’t Nickelodeon’s first music effort: NickMusic, their digital radio channel on iHeartRadio, features “current hits, guest DJ appearances by channel stars, branded entertainment and celebrity interviews.” (Kidscreen

They may be competing for young viewers, but YouTube and TV actually help grow one another’s audience. A Google-commissioned Nielsen study found that TV can actually drive YouTube engagement, and YouTube can do the same for TV. For talk shows in particular, there was a 18% increase in tune-in on TV from an audience that had watched YouTube content of those shows. Nielsen says the results are “significant,” and commented that the opportunity is great for programmers and advertisers to “leverage the connection between digital views and TV audiences." (Adweek)

Quote of the Day: “My favorite app is Amazon, because it's so convenient. I can order things on Prime with just a few clicks.”—Female, 27, PA 

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