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- Disney has withdrawn its application (for trademark of “SEAL Team Six,” deferring to the U.S. Navy, which will own the rights…and could license the name to the highest bidder.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

“As a graphic designer, without the arts being available to me in school I would have been lost as a child and where to take my career path. The fact that schools are cutting art programs is heartbreaking.”—Female, 24, NJ

Applebee’s is putting down the sriracha and giving up on trying to appeal to Millennials. The brand has decided their newer menu items—like a “triple pork bonanza” sandwich—and attempt at a “modern bar and grill” reinvention has “alienate[d]” Boomers and Gen Xers. They’re shutting down more than 130 restaurants and bringing back initiatives from before their attempted “pendulum swing towards millennials,” all-you-can-eat specials and 2-for-$20 deals. Other brands are creating new spin off chains to appeal to fast-casual lovingMillennials, that “[lack] the associated baggage of the old.” (Inc, NPR)

Adults-only ball pits, bouncy houses, and giant slides are sweeping the U.K. Millennials seeking a break from adulthood are flocking to places like Wacky World’s “massive bouncy-castle obstacle course,” which started out as a children’s event. The founder received so many requests that now every event has an 18-and-over slot, and has expanded to 19 cities. This “trend for arrested development activities” is caused by nostalgia, but the influx of marketing and branding leveraging the emotion could be popularizing these playgrounds for adults. (The Guardian)

Facebook is responding to the trend of asking for birthday charitable donations by integrating it right into the platform. Users in the U.S. can now trade in all the “HBD”s they get on Facebook for donations to the cause of their choice: well-wishers will be notified of the birthday along with the selected non-profit, and get the chance to donate. Facebook will ask users which charity they wish to dedicate their day to two weeks in advance, allowing them to choose from 750,000 organizations. (TNW)

Appear Here is the Airbnb of pop-up shops, giving brands their perfect temporary store for the new era of retail. The company finds short term retail space, and has worked with big-name brands like Nike and Net-a-Porter to open “experimental activations” or “test new products.” As brick-and-mortar continues to suffer and long-term stores close, Appear Here says physical retail is still needed, but to “tell a story.” The pop-up industry was valued at $50 billion in 2015, and provides a more low-risk, flexible option to avoid the retail wasteland. (Glossy)

Millennials & Gen Z are turning a profit online and on mobile by re-selling their retail. Thredup, Poshmark, and Depop are just a few of the most popular brands cashing in on the resale economy’s $18 billion market, and some shoppers say they are making $300 a week on the platforms. Some are also using social to sell, often in conjunction with apps or sites, including Snapchat, Facebook Groups, and Instagram. College students on a budget are reportedly especially drawn to resale, thanks to convenience, value, and access to luxury at a lower price. (FN)

“Adult means being entirely independent. I pay my own bills, make all decisions in my life, and feel very in control.”—Male, 20, NY

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