Ypulse Essentials: Lady Gaga's Social Network, The Tween Dating Scene, Social Entrepreneurialism

LittleMonsters.comAs if we need more social networks to follow, Lady Gaga (has just unveiled LittleMonsters.com her very own social site that’s all about her and her fans. If you haven’t received your invite yet, here’s a tour to fill you in on what you’re missing…or not. The site definitely has a very Pinterest-like feel that is pervading current Web design. So what do you think, does Gaga’s net have a chance?) (Hypable) (Mashable)

- The tween dating scene — yes, there is one — is less about seeing each other face to face (and more about talking online and via text. Even if they go to the same school, they might talk for five minutes in the hallways, but trade hundreds of text messages day and night. When they do go out together, it’s usually with groups of friends) (WSJ, reg required)

- We hear the word ‘entrepreneur’ used nearly as often as ‘entitiled’ (to describe the Millennial generation. And with their values of social and global responsibility, they’re using their entrepreneurial skills for good. And it’s not just older Millennials who are getting involved; teens are doing their part too, leveraging their social media and technology skills) (HuffPo) (Differences)

- Millennials who are members of Amazon Prime (will soon have access to shows from many of their favorite networks, including MTV, Nickeodeon, Spike, and more, thanks to a new deal between the online retailer and Viacom. Viacom, which owns Paramount, is also giving Prime members access to movies, which makes Amazon’s collection of streaming content quite impressive...but is it enough to lure Netflix users?) (Publishers Weekly) (Reuters)

- Barbie is opening the sparkly pink doors to her dream closet (just in time for Toy Fair and Fashion Week. The expansive “closet” features several fashion vignettes and augmented reality mirrors…

 
 

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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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