Where Are They Now: Trends Update

We always have our eye out for the next trends that will influence the way Millennials approach life, brands, marketing, buying, and more—but once we write about a trend it doesn’t just stop developing. In our quarterly Lifeline report, we make sure to track the trends we’ve covered in the past to keep our subscribers in tune with the new examples and iterations we’ve seen. Today we’re doing the same for you, looking at three of the trends we’ve let you know about and giving you an update on what’s happening with them today. 

Group Dating
What we said then: Group dating is on the rise, with a growing number of services, apps and sites being created to take the awkwardness out of a one-on-one night with a stranger. The trend only makes sense for the group-oriented generation, who view their friends as their safety net and thrive in using the digital world as a tool to foster offline connections. Services focused on organizing group-dates are catching the attention of more and more single Millennials who are looking for easy, comfortable ways to meet up, and are bypassing the trappings and troubles of online dating. The Dating Ring has new users fill out an extensive profile, but not to be posted for anyone’s perusal. Only the matchmakers who work for the site read the profiles, in order to create group dates that are filled with optimal matches. 

What’s happening now: 
The Dating Ring has taken group dating to the extreme, arranging cross country dates by flying a group of single Millennial women from New York across the country to mingle with single Millennial men in San Francisco. After spotting a gender imbalance in each city, the founders of the group matchmaking service launche d a Crowdtilt to sponsor free trips to the opposite coast for NYC women looking for love (and 

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“Most of the role models and leaders in my life have been Gen Xers so far."

–Male, 16, WI

Instagram has reached 700 million active users, and its growth has been speeding up. The app hit the new user mark just four months after reaching 600 million, and the introduction of Instagram stories in August may be a major contributor to its accelerated growth. The feature has a reported 200 million daily active users compared to Snapchat’s 161 million. Overall, Instagram now has twice the user base of Twitter and is quickly approaching the coveted 1 billion user mark that Facebook, WhatsApp, and Messenger have reached. (TechCrunch)

Millennials are using social media and YouTube to decide what to buy. A U.K. study found 32% of 18-24-year-olds are using social media to research their purchase decisions before checking out, and 25% are using video platforms like YouTube. There are also signs they’d like to search for products on social media: 25% of U.K. 18-24-year-olds reported the desire to search media based on their lifestyle and 23% would like search to understand their current mood. These findings, paired with the detailed targeting available to advertisers, are changing the consumer journey from search query to cart. (AdvertisingWeek)

Millennials are keeping 70% of their money in cash, reluctant to invest in anything, from stocks to their own retirement plans—according to new BlackRock research. Clearly impacted by the Great Recession, Millennials are most likely to agree, "What you might earn investing isn't worth the risk of losing your money," and a third say “they learned what not to do with their money” from watching their parents. They also tend to undervalue the potential returns of investments by millions of dollars, which is not good news for their futures—at their current rate, most Millennials will have less than $1 million saved for retirement. (TheStreet)

Influencer marketing is proving its worth. Though marketers have worried about determining ROI with the approach, one report is claiming it’s more effective than advertising alone, showing a direct lift in results rates of up to 30%. Across 450 influencers and 11 campaigns, the expansive research compared results from consumers exposed to ads featuring influencers versus control groups, overwhelmingly showing increased action when an influencer was involved. Good news for marketers, who spent $570 million on influencer marketing on Instagram alone last year. (Adweek)

The Amazon Echo can now help pick your outfit—and tell you when you don’t look good. LED lights and a depth-sensing camera will let the new Echo Look take pictures of any look, and “Style Check” software “combines machine learning algorithms with advice from fashion specialists” to evaluate which outfit is best, and lets you compare pictures of multiple outfits, from multiple angles. Amazon’s already extensive product recommendations could feasibly be a part of this product’s future—and, if all goes well, a drone will ship the recommended new clothes to your door. (Quartz)

“I want to work for myself so that I can have more flexibility and be my own boss. I have an online business.”
—Female, 16, FL

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