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 don’t plan to own a home in the future because it’s financially not possible. Too many student loans to pay back to ever make mortgage payments.” –Female, 21, TX

Teens already have plenty of tools to hide mobile communication from their parents, but now there’s another trick in their arsenal: BEEP is an app with an alert tone that only young people can hear. When users receive a message, the ringtone that sounds is a high frequency that most older people cannot hear and most teens can—which means that they could use their phones in places that they are usually banned. (iDigital)

In the last five years, the top 25 food and beverage companies have lost $18 billion in market share—and experts say Millennials and their desire for transparency are to blame. Lifeway Foods’ CEO explains, “’Millennials are driving a disruption in the food industry…I think we’ll see the food industry turned on its head.’” The trends they’re fueling include an awareness of ingredients, and a switch from low-fat to balanced diets. (Fortune)

In the ongoing online content wars, there are bound to be some struggles. Snapchat is rethinking their original content strategy, shutting down “Snap Channel,” its original video hub. But the decision isn’t necessarily a sign of failure: video content on the Discover feature from participating brands like BuzzFeed and ESPN has become a major source of revenue for the app, and “it’s possible that Snapchat decided it just wasn’t worth competing with the publishers.” (Quartz)

One in four children in the U.S. is underactive, while one in four children globally is malnourished. Now Target & UNICEF have teamed up to create a life saving kids’ wearable to tackle both issues. UNICEF Kid Power is a fitness wristband that allows child users to reach fitness goals. As they complete activities, they “'unlock’ life-saving therapeutic food packets” that UNICEF brings to needy families in developing countries. (Mashable)

Millennial consumers are attracted to innovative new brands, and are redefining luxury—so how does an established high-end brand appeal to them? Diane Von Furstenberg, who relaunched her brand in 1997, has embraced technology and new marketing content to reach a new generation of consumers. The designer tells Adweek, “One thing that is so exciting about this generation…is that all of them feel that they are a brand. So how do you talk to them if you are an established brand? It's all very interesting.” (Adweek)

Quote of the Day: “My current financial priority is saving up money to afford an engagement ring for my girlfriend, the subsequent wedding, and the eventual sperm vials/storage we will need to start a family of our own.” –Female, 27, WI

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