Ypulse Essentials: 'Guitar Hero' Unplugged, Pets Get Kids Moving, Cookie Jar Goes Primetime

Guitar HeroFallen (Guitar) Hero (Activision pulls the plug on its “Guitar Hero” franchise, canceling the release of the sixth edition of the game. PSFK, via the Guardian, offers theories for why the billion-dollar franchise failed: selling out and lack of innovation. Also on the chopping block are DJ Hero and True Crime: Hong Kong. So, um, anyone up for a jam session on Rock Band?)  (Mashable) (PSFK) (Ars Technica)

- Kids who have a dog get more exercise than those who don’t. Perhaps the White House’s “Let’s Move” campaign to combat childhood obesity — which is now a year old — should consider building in a pet component) (TruthDive) (Ad Age, reg required)

- Cookie Jar Entertainment (goes primetime, announcing a slate of projects in development for tweens, teens, and young adults) (Hollywood Reporter)

- College students aren’t being challenged academically and are falling behind their peers in other countries. For when Gen Yers graduate and enter the workplace, Diversity Inc. dissolves a few myths about what they want as employees. Hint, yes, money matters!) (Salon)

- Target will have an exclusive (deluxe edition of Lady Gaga’s new album, Born This Way, out May 23. Those who pre-order get an immediate free download of the much anticipated title track) (Billboard)

- Nick Jr’s upcoming show ‘Olive the Ostrich’ (will be illustrated by UK students, thanks to a partnership with The Princes Foundation for Children & the Arts. In other “by kids, for kids” news, USA Today profiles a successful teen author whose self-published books are racing up the charts. Perhaps more publishers should consider crowdsourcing) (Kidscreen)

- Single for Valentine’s Day? (new app, Heartbroker, taps the power of your Facebook friends to find you the perfect match) (Social Times)

 
 

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The Newsfeed

“I honestly wouldn't like to communicate with brands, unless it is to solve problems their brand is causing.”—Female, 27, MI

Why don’t people seem to care as much about fake followers on Instagram as on other platforms? Because while Facebook and Twitter are bashed for feeds full of fake news, no one holds Instagram to the same standard. The image-centric platform is inherently “a hyperreality,” where no one’s candid shot is truly spontaneous, and photo-shop freely fills feeds. Where does it get tricky? With Influencers, who are expected to garner true engagements for brands. (Real Life)

Influencer marketing faced another tricky situation this week when PopSugar replaced influencers’ affiliate links with their own. RewardStyle and its Instagram product LikeToKnow.it’s network of content creators’ photos and sometimes entire feeds “were copied to the site via “thousands of ‘falsified vanity pages’ containing millions of images belonging to the network’s content creators.” The group is planning on seeking a class-action lawsuit on their intellectual property and for the lost revenue that PopSugar made each time a customer clicked to purchase. (Racked)

Colleges are giving out more merit-based aid to win over top students. Tuition discount rates have risen to a record 49.1% for first-time, full-time freshman attending private universities, up over 10% from ten years prior—according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers. By using data-driven analysis to calculate just how much aid is likely to lure a top student in, colleges are seeing success upping their prestige. However, the practice has also “created a closing of the doors for low-income students,” according to one policy analyst. (WSJ)

Apple is betting that young consumers could bring back magazines via a magazine subscription service. The tech company took a gamble by buying Texture, a subscription service for over 200 titles that’s been dubbed the “Netflix of Magazine Publishing.” The app aggregates articles into a single browsing experience, rather than being separated by title, and pays the included publications. Apple has announced plans to integrate the service into their Apple News app, the latest incarnation of their less-than-successful Newsstand app. (Bloomberg)

Function of Beauty is customizing hair care, blending up shampoo and conditioner for each customer based off a five-question quiz. Beauty companies big and small have hopped on the Customization Nation trend, and Function of Beauty takes that to the next level with their hyper-personalized hair care set. They're customizing everything from the fragrance to the chemical components, and even going so far as to print the purchaser’s name on each product. The founder explains, "Every single person is unique and different...why negate that instead of catering to it?" (Paper)

“[Allison Raskin] is open about her struggles with mental health, and she is also funny.”—Female, 19, CA

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