Ypulse Essentials: 'Hunger Games' Guys, Toys 'R' Us Carries Kindle, High Speed Wifi Coming To A Campus Near You

Hunger Games GuysWe may have drooled over this photo (of the guys of “The Hunger Games.” What do you think of Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson as Gale and Peeta? And why do we have to wait so long for this movie?? Speaking of books we’re interested in seeing adapted to film, we hear “Will Gallows and the Snake Bellied Troll” is in the works with assistance from Elton John) (EW) (Deadline Hollywood)

- Toys ‘R’ Us stores are beginning to look more like electronics stores (as the chain adds the Kindle to its shelves just months after it started carrying iPads. Is this a sign of things to come?) (Kidscreen)

- Students won’t be the only beneficiaries (as universities add high speed wifi — as in, fast enough to download a high def movie in under a minute — to attract high-tech startups to campus areas. As far as streaming goes, Fox seems to want to slow things down. The network is planning to put shows behind a pay wall for eight days after airing for non-paying subscribers to sites like Hulu) (NY Times, reg required) (Ars Technica)

- Check out this viral video from the launch of Mattel’s (Fijit Friends this week. The toys are designed for girls ages six and up and come with interactive technology so the characters can react to signals programmed in mobile apps, webisodes, and even TV commercials. Oh yeah, and they can dance! Speaking of cool dance videos, check out the latest from Ok Go, which viewers can customize with their own message) (YouTube) (Billboard)

- Hearst is debuting its first (tablet-only publication, “Cosmo For Guys” — scroll down a bit for the story… While guys may not want to admit to reading Cosmo, many do to get the female perspective. The magazine app will provide just that, with the anonymity of reading on a tablet instead of having to buy a Cosmo-branded magazine at a…

 
 

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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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