Ypulse Essentials: Facebook Phone & Kindle Fire Models, Spotify Loses Labels, Toy Of The Year

Facebook PhoneCodenamed ‘Buffy,’ the fabled Facebook phone (is going to be a reality in a year or so, and like its vampire-slayer namesake, it’s out to slay the smartphone competition. The phone will be manufactured by HTC and reportedly will run an Android platform. But will anyone care to have a Facebook phone over a phone with a Facebook app? Some of us still remember how things went when another media company — ahem, ESPN — tried to enter the cell phone market. In other news of tech to come, Amazon will debut new models of the Kindle Fire with larger screens in 2012. Amazon clearly wants to take a bite out of the mainstream tablet market, taking on Samsung and perhaps even Apple) (AllThingsD) (ShelfAwareness)

- Spotify is losing labels (because the music industry isn’t happy with the money it’s making from the service and fears that streaming is cannibalizing sales. But, now that listeners have had a taste of streaming just about any artist they want, we don’t think they’re going to run right back to the record store — digital or brick-and-mortar — to get the music they want; they’ll continue to find it online, one way or another) (AV Club)

- The Toy Industry Association has announced the finalists (for Toy Of The Year. The lists for best boy toy, girl toy, educational toy, and game are packed with cool items — and great gift ideas, obviously — but there’s one item that’s missing. The iPad. Say what you will, that’s one “toy” kids can’t keep their hands off of) (Kidscreen)

- Netflix is making its ‘Just For Kids’ section (available from the Wii console with just one click. We think it’s a smart move since the Wii is particularly popular with young families) (SacBee)

- With all the Black Friday ads clogging the airwaves lately, it’s hard to break through the clutter, but Macy’s ad with…

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“My generation feels entitled and is less willing to put in hard work to get the results they want.”—Female, 17, VA

CoverGirl is getting a marketing makeover to impress Millennials. The brand is changing up their slogan for the first time since 1997, with “Easy, Breezy, Beautiful Covergirl” getting traded for “I Am What I Make Up.” To go along with the new tagline, an inclusive lineup of new CoverGirls will debut the revamped brand—from 69-year-old Maye Musk to pro motorcycle rider Shelina Moreda. Finally, products will be taking on the Less is More trend with “sleeker, more minimal black and white packaging” and a logo to match—a familiar branding makeover move. (Racked)

Riverdale’s recent premiere pulled impressive ratings, especially among young adults—and the show may have Netflix to thank for it. The Archie-remake grew in popularity by 67% from last winter’s premiere and 140% with women under 35. But it gained the most ground with teens, jumping an impressive 467% from last winter’s premiere, making it the most popular show from The CW among teens since The Vampire Diaries in 2012. The show’s presence on Netflix during the off-season may have helped attract young viewers, allowing them to binge the series and get addicted on their time—The Binge Effect at work. (Vulture)

Essential oils are the latest wellness trend to gain traction, appealing to Millennials’ desire to ease anxiety. The most stressed generation to date is turning to little vials of “something between a perfume and a potion” to calm their minds and remedy simple sicknesses. Companies aren’t missing the opportunity to capitalize on the growing demand. Two major brands, Young Living and doTerra, “have more than three million customers apiece, and a billion dollars in annual sales.” (The New Yorker)

The majority of teachers say that life skills are more important to success today than academics. According to research out of the U.K., more than half of teachers believe so-called “’soft’ skills,” including perseverance, the ability to problem-solve, and communicate effectively are more important than “academic knowledge and technical skills.” Unfortunately, institutions often focus on test scores instead of “social and emotional learning, or character.” The good news is groups are pushing for change and “teaching ‘character’ is taking hold everywhere.” (Quartz)

Throw that “Me, Me, Me Generation” stereotype out the window, because Millennials are probably not any more narcissistic than previous generations. (Sorry, Time Magazine.) A report published in Psychological Science compared students from a ‘90s study with students in the 2000s and 2010s and found that today’s youth are “at best” equally as self-involved as young people of the past, and may actually be less narcissistic. The professor who led the study reports, “The kids are all right. There never was a narcissism epidemic, despite what has been claimed.” (Uproxx)

“My love of video games and knowledge of technology and streaming naturally eased me into the world of esports.”—Female, 23, FL

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