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

“I don't spend money, really on anything. I enjoy video games and will enjoy getting video games, but I receive as gifts from grandparents, parents”—Female, 14, IA

Airbnb is booming in Africa, where young travelers are “looking for culture rather than comfort.” Over two million people have used Airbnb in Africa to book vacation accommodations in the last five years, reportedly earning African hosts $139 million in just the past year. Wanderlusting Millennials are pushing themselves out of their comfort zones to discover new places, rather than retread old ground, and locales like Africa are getting a boost because of it. (Quartz)

Nielsen says they finally have a way to measure Netflix viewership—but Netflix says they’re way off base. Nielsen claims they can keep track of all viewing on the platform, including originals, “whether or not a studio or network wants them to.” Netflix claims, “The data that Nielsen is reporting is not accurate, not even close, and does not reflect the viewing of these shows on Netflix.” Ouch. Regardless, Nielsen’s move is a step in the right direction to measure what The Post-TV Genis watching, and has “direct implications for the ad business.” (MediaPostAdAgeFortune)

Influencers are using Instagram’s new polling feature, beating brands to the punch. Influencer network Blog Lovin’ found that 66% of their followers (many of which are influencers) had already used polling, while 87% plan to in the future. Polling is not only an opportunity to engage with customers but a way for brands to “[ask] for feedback about products, creat[e] engagement around topics that are in the media and [conduct] market research.” But brands have been slow to ask influencers to use the new story feature for promotions or to utilize the feature on their standalone accounts. (Glossy)

High school students are increasingly taking college courses—but little is known about whether it will benefit them. Thanks to dual-enrollment programs, which are expanding rapidly, students can get a head start on college credits, cutting down on the cost of higher education. Some also argue that Advanced Placement courses are more rigorous, and worthier of students’ extra effort. However, the impacts of programs on “a diverse set of students” is not yet known. (WSJ)

Kids have online influencers too, and they’re pushing branded toys to devoted viewers. Unboxing videos on YouTube are not a new phenomenon, but kid stars unboxing toys are getting brands’ attention as a way to leverage The Influencer Effect. MGA Entertainment, the world’s largest private toy company, pivoted 90% of their ad spend to digital in 2014 and report the strategy is paying off. Studies show children’s attention is switching from cable to YouTube, and influencers help brands reach a “much more engaged smaller audience” and give them “that potential for virality.” (Bloomberg)

"I love coffee and love the experience of having someone make me a nice latte. I like being around other people and hanging out in restaurants or cafes.”—Female, 20, PA

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