Why Going Mobile Means Being Human

“Going mobile” has been on the tip of companies’ tongues in the past year. Yahoo has more than hinted at this strategy when they revealed their Q4 report in January and recently, a total site overhall, with a more personalized and dynamic interface, amped-up visuals and infinite scrolling capabilities, suggests a more mobile-friendly strategy

Last week, in an attempt to gain back their Millennial following, Facebook also introduced a redesigned News Feed that it called “mobile inspired,” setting a goal for 2013 to “create some mobile experiences that simply can’t be done on the desktop.”  And at this year’s SXSW, the spotlight is shifting from software to devices.  This Mobile Insider article reports from on-the-ground at SXSW stating that companies are also discussing "authenticity" as a top priority, especially when you consider that Millennials' falsehood meter is one of their greatest assets. It states: "The connected generation are the ones who have changed the game for all aspects of advertising and marketing." Building a second screen experience along with personalization, intimacy and being "human" have become necessities among social media, mobile and marketing strategies. 

We focused on this trend in January, delving into why a mobile strategy has become table stakes for companies aiming to engage Millennials and the post-millennial generation (who truly are 'digital natives'). To put this digital dependency into perspective, we surveyed 990 13-34-year-olds about how much they value their cellphone. Two-thirds said they’d be lost without their phone and more than half (54%) feel that their cellphone is a lifeline to the world around them. Millennials want to know what their network of “friends” is doing at any hour as well as to always have information at hand –…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“I move around every few years so it would be a huge hassle to have to buy and sell property so frequently.”—Female, 28, IN

Gen Z will spend the most on rent of any generation, but Millennials aren’t far behind. HotPads estimates that 2-20-year-olds will spend $226,000 on rent before they buy a home and 24-38-year-olds will ring in at $202,000. Despite the difference, Gen Z will own their first home one year earlier than Millennials because they’ll have “a stronger job market than [M]illennials”—but, despite the myths, they are buying homes in greater numbers. PS: Los Angeles tops the list of where young demos will spend the most on rent. (Business Insider)

What’s behind board games' popularity today? The NPD Group found that board games grew 8% compared to the toy industry’s overall growth of 8% in the past year and has “no signs of slowing down.” Digital detoxing plays a part, as more Millennial parents worry about their kids’ screen time and seek toys that foster face-to-face relationships. But despite the analog appeal, games are also getting high-tech and the word-of-mouth media they receive propels social media-friendly games like Pie Face to the top of toy charts. (Kidscreen)

Parents still have the most influence over kids today, but online celebrities are also top role models. Mintel research found that 86% of 6-17-year-olds say their parents are among their top role models, 62% say teachers, and 41% say siblings. But the top kind of celebrity that gets added to the category are social media celebrities at 35%, followed closely by musicians and athletes. Only 22% said actors were among their top role models and just 16% said the President. (MediaPost)

Disney has a new beverage to fill your Instagram feed: The Purple Wall Slushie. The Millennial & Gen Z-loved company has had no problem coming up with social media-friendly items, from Baby Groot bread to a viral Beauty and the Beast-inspired tumbler, and now they’ve rolled out a boba and taro beverage at Disney World. The Purple Wall is a famous destination to snap a pic for social media in the Magic Kingdom, and this slushy is made specifically to match up with the wall (and monetize on it). (POPSUGARInsider)

Speaking of Instagrammability, the Space Needle’s new, clear benches are sure to make for a thrilling photo op. The iconic viewing deck for the Seattle skyline has been in the midst of a makeover to create a better (and decidedly more social media-worthy) viewing experience. A metal base and caging has been replaced with a high glass wall from floor to sky, and so-called “skyrisers” will let visitors sit right on the edge of it all—and snap a selfie. (Curbed)

“People have been planning outfits since the start of the year [for prom].”—Male, 15, NC

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