Things You Should Know: XBox One

Today’s post is from Ypulse staffer Phil Savarese.

On May 21, Microsoft announced their much-anticipated next generation video game console: Xbox One. The console will be competing with Sony’s next-gen console: Play Station 4 (PS4) this coming holiday season, but it would not do the Xbox One justice to call it a “video game console.” Microsoft is making waves with gamers by instead marketing One as an “all-in-one entertainment system.” The console moves away from Xbox’s gaming roots, aiming instead to be an entertainment hub that focuses as much, if not more, on TV and sports as it does video games. Devout gamers might be criticizing the move, but with Millennials looking for products that help to streamline life Xbox One has the potential to be valued by a wider audience. The entire Xbox One release is something to be discussed, from its pre-announcement rumors to its post-announcement skeptics. Here’s how the Xbox One announcement was a Millennial event through and through:

Social Media Missteps

Since the gaming world was told that 2013 would bring the next generations of Xbox and PlayStation, they have been searching the internet for any information on the consoles. There were rumors that the console would require an internet connection at all times, which was not good news for gamers, who made their distaste for the idea well-known. In the wake of the reports and criticism, Microsoft employee Adam Orth took to Twitter to tell gamers that didn’t like the idea of an “always-on” console to “deal with it.” Microsoft put out an official statement apologizing for the staffers remarks, but for many shadows had been cast on Microsoft and their next console. The event exemplifies how social media can cause major press issues for brands who aren’t careful to play nicely with…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“I honestly wouldn't like to communicate with brands, unless it is to solve problems their brand is causing.”—Female, 27, MI

Why don’t people seem to care as much about fake followers on Instagram as on other platforms? Because while Facebook and Twitter are bashed for feeds full of fake news, no one holds Instagram to the same standard. The image-centric platform is inherently “a hyperreality,” where no one’s candid shot is truly spontaneous, and photo-shop freely fills feeds. Where does it get tricky? With Influencers, who are expected to garner true engagements for brands. (Real Life)

Influencer marketing faced another tricky situation this week when PopSugar replaced influencers’ affiliate links with their own. RewardStyle and its Instagram product LikeToKnow.it’s network of content creators’ photos and sometimes entire feeds “were copied to the site via “thousands of ‘falsified vanity pages’ containing millions of images belonging to the network’s content creators.” The group is planning on seeking a class-action lawsuit on their intellectual property and for the lost revenue that PopSugar made each time a customer clicked to purchase. (Racked)

Colleges are giving out more merit-based aid to win over top students. Tuition discount rates have risen to a record 49.1% for first-time, full-time freshman attending private universities, up over 10% from ten years prior—according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers. By using data-driven analysis to calculate just how much aid is likely to lure a top student in, colleges are seeing success upping their prestige. However, the practice has also “created a closing of the doors for low-income students,” according to one policy analyst. (WSJ)

Apple is betting that young consumers could bring back magazines via a magazine subscription service. The tech company took a gamble by buying Texture, a subscription service for over 200 titles that’s been dubbed the “Netflix of Magazine Publishing.” The app aggregates articles into a single browsing experience, rather than being separated by title, and pays the included publications. Apple has announced plans to integrate the service into their Apple News app, the latest incarnation of their less-than-successful Newsstand app. (Bloomberg)

Function of Beauty is customizing hair care, blending up shampoo and conditioner for each customer based off a five-question quiz. Beauty companies big and small have hopped on the Customization Nation trend, and Function of Beauty takes that to the next level with their hyper-personalized hair care set. They're customizing everything from the fragrance to the chemical components, and even going so far as to print the purchaser’s name on each product. The founder explains, "Every single person is unique and different...why negate that instead of catering to it?" (Paper)

“[Allison Raskin] is open about her struggles with mental health, and she is also funny.”—Female, 19, CA

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