Ypulse Essentials: Facebook + Spotify = Awesome, Amazon Goes Gaga (Again), Chegg Enters The Deals Game

Facebook SpotifyWhile Mark Zuckerberg says it will eventually (make sense to explore allowing children under age 13 to join Facebook, it’s not a priority at the company. Music, on the other hand, seems to be quite important. Facebook and Spotify are partnering on a deal that will integrate the music service into the Facebook platform and is rumored to allow friends to listen to music simultaneously through the social net. The service will only be accessible to users in countries where Spotify is already up and running, which means American users will have to wait, but hopefully not for too long) (Consumerist) (Forbes)

- “This time we’re ready” (is the self deprecating way Amazon is relaunching its offer of Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” for a mere $.99. It’s crossing its fingers that this time its servers don’t melt — though by now most little monsters will probably have already gotten their copy of the album, so the demand should be somewhat subdued) (FastCompany)

- Disney has withdrawn its application (for trademark of “SEAL Team Six,” deferring to the U.S. Navy, which will own the rights…and could license the name to the highest bidder. That makes us a bit nervous. Speaking of the Navy, the Naval ROTC is back on Yale’s campus after 40 years, originally banned in protest of the Vietnam War and more recently because of the Navy’s position toward women and gays in the military) (Yahoo) (NY Times, reg required)

- Chegg, the textbook rental company, is launching (a daily deals offering and new marketing opportunities that will connect brands with its college student user base) (Ad Age, reg required)

- Google finally announced it’s rumored (Google Wallet service, an NFC [or near-field communications] payment service. Was the move timed to steal some of the thunder from Jack Dorsey’s Square payment…

 
 

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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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