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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Quote of the Day: “When deciding what products to buy, what’s most valuable to me is reviews from users regardless of whether or not I know them.”—Female, 32, MA

Adidas is continuing to take customization to the next level, with a new pop-up store that creates custom clothes in a majorly futuristic way. Knit For You, located in Berlin uses a laser body scanner to determine exact measurements for their personalized merino wool sweaters. To select their design, shoppers go into a dark room where patterns that can be adjusted with hand gestures are projected on their chests. The final chosen product is then knitted, washed, and dried in-store to be picked up in hours, for the price of $215. (Business Insider

BuzzFeed’s wildly popular food platform Tasty is expanding into the coffee business. In a partnership with NBCUniversal, Tasty has begun selling Brooklyn Roasting Company coffee beans, and of course, they’re “offer[ing] a quiz to help with decision making.” Quiz-takers will be asked about their favorite fruit, how they feel about caffeine, what their ideal morning is like, and more, to which they can answer with emojis. Once the coffee choice is made, consumers can make it even more personal by creating their own labels. (Grub Street)  

Chinese Millennials are using digital devices for “connection, discovery and actualization,” more often than their American counterparts. A recent global survey from Labbrand found that 85% of Chinese Millennials are using their phones to make in-store payments on a weekly basis, compared to 44% of U.S. Millennials. They’re also more likely to broadcast their behavior online: Over seven in ten Chinese Millennials are posting movie, restaurant, travel, and other activity-related reviews weekly and over half say they share everything they do online, compared to 44% and 28% of U.S. Millennials respectively. (ReadITQuik

What cities are Millennial homebuyers flocking to? According to an analysis by LendingTree, the top three are Pittsburgh, Washington, D.C., and Des Moines, Iowa—based on mortgage requests by those 35 and under. The online loan company says that on average 36.1% of all their mortgage requests came from the age group, a slight increase from the year before, which they say is “thanks to a stronger jobs market and overall economy.” They expect to see more young buyers looking for homes as financial situations keep improving. (Yahoo FinanceCredit.com

YouTube is being criticized for filtering LGBTQ content. Recently, YouTube creators have discovered that some content featuring LGBTQ titles and themes are being filtered when users enable “Restricted Mode” to screen out “potentially objectionable content.” YouTuber Neon Fiona pointed to her own page as evidence, citing that videos with “girlfriend” in the title were filtered under the mode, but videos with “boyfriend” in the title were not. Not all LGBTQ content is filtered and one YouTuber observes, “This is something that no one’s really sure how it’s working.” (Tubefilter

Quote of the Day: “When I was watching the Super Bowl, I switched the channel or left the room when it was a commercial break.”—Male, 27, MN

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