Things You Should Know: Trending Sites of the Moment

In our quest to keep our finger on the pulse of all things youth culture, we come across a lot of unique sites and blogs that say a lot about the interests and tastes of Millennials right this minute. To pass that on to you, we’ve created a list of some recent talked about sites to give you a snapshot of Millennial culture. Here are some trending sites you should know:

 Rappers & Cereal

Sometimes a single-serving blog becomes popular just because it is so ridiculous you can’t look away. Rappers and Cereal just might be one of those blogs. The concept takes famous rappers and photoshops them endorsing fake cereals. For example, Snoop Dog poses with a box of Snoop Loops, and Macklemore holds a box of Mackle S’mores Crunch. The Tumblr has been going for about a year and is just gaining recognition, seeing a recent surge in popularity likely due to the insatiable appetite for cultural mash-ups that pair up two completely divergent categories. (The Game of Thrones and Seinfeld mashup videos are another great example of the trend.)

 

The 90s Button

If your question is: “Are Millennials ever going to get over ‘90s nostalgia?” The answer seems to be: not anytime soon. Despite their endless love for the ‘90s over the years seeping into marketing, influencing fashion, and dominating Buzzfeed lists, their appetite for everything ‘90s seems to have no end. Enter The 90s Button, a site that sends any visitor into an endless stream of ‘90s glory. The landing page features a Blingee background, three dancing MC Hammers, and a button featuring David Hasselhoff’s face asking, “Unleash Heaven?” Once pressed, a non-stop loop of ‘90s songs and their YouTube videos begins to play. Visitors can also share what song was served up to them with their friends, as each produces a unique URL. ‘90s…

 
 
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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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