Ypulse Essentials: New Nook Tablet And Playstation Vita Debut, Staying Positive Online, 'Hunger Games' Cast Goes On A Mall Tour

Playstation VitaBarnes & Noble is going head to head (in a tablet war. Barnes & Noble is cutting the memory of its Nook Tablet to 8GB and the price to $199 to match the Kindle Fire in cost and capacity. Meanwhile, Amazon seems to have its sights set on Apple with rumors swirling that the online retailer plans to introduce a 10-inch tablet which would be more in line with the iPad. And Apple is reportedly testing a mini version of its iPad that would be competitive with Barnes & Noble and Amazon’s smaller-sized tablets. In other tech news, Sony’s Playstation Vita went on sale today and the portable gaming system — which offers gamers better controls and a more sophisticated gaming experience than smartphones — is already selling well, according to Sony) (CNET) (eBookNewser) (CBSNews) (Time)

- The Internet has its share of trolls, but some websites prefer to focus on the positive (instead of the negative, such as Positively Positive. The site provides a daily dose of good news for users. Similarly, HelloGiggles was founded by Zooey Deschanel, Molly McAleer, and Sophia Rossi as an “entertaining and supportive community” for people to interact online in a troll-free space. It even has a “no gossip” policy. With Millennials facing such tough times, they can use all of the positive online inspiration they can get!) (Mashable)

- The cast of ‘The Hunger Games’ is coming to a city near you! (Get ready for malls from Seattle to Miami to be overrun with screaming fans, a la Twilight. At each stop, fans will get a chance to ask questions of the film’s stars in a Q&A session, and they can enter to win give aways from the tour’s sponsors, including Microsoft and China Glaze. Speaking of “Hunger Games,” here’s your friendly reminder that tickets go on sale today for the March 23rd opening) (Deadline…

 
 

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Quote of the Day: “There are better things to spend my money on [than luxury products], so unless we are talking about luxury experiences, I'm not spending money on them right now.”

—Female, 30, CA

As we predicted, there’s still hope for in-store shopping. According to a Forrester retail expert and analyst, U.S. retail revenue is expected to reach $3.4 trillion this year, and only 9% is expected to be online. Because consumers still value the ability to “touch and feel products,” retailers with “solid go-to-market strategies,” like Sephora with their digital solutions and Ulta with their unique shopping experience, stand to benefit the most. He reports that only those retailers “struggling to connect with consumers” are closing stores. (MediaPost

Will Instagram take Snapchat’s place as a marketing star of 2017? The platform, which boasts 150 million daily users, is now letting brands incorporate full screen ads to the Snapchat-inspired Stories feature, and companies like Capital One, ASOS, Nike, Buick, and Airbnb are already on board. According to the VP of Instagram Business, brands will be able to target specific audiences through the feature, and one-third of the app’s top stories have been from businesses. (Adweek

LGBT self-identification is rising in the U.S., with Millennials leading the way. According to a Gallup survey, 4.1% of U.S. adults, or about 10 million people, now identify as LGBT—an increase from 3.5% in 2012. Millennials account for almost 60% of that number, most likely because they are “first generation in the U.S. to grow up in an environment where social acceptance of the LGBT community markedly increased.” Our Genreless Generation trend, revealed that Millennials and teens are more comfortable with blending and bending categories, and celebrating new combinations than ever before. (NYMag)

The Binge Effect has inspired Disney to try out the Netflix model. For the premiere of Beyond on Millennial-focused network Freeform, all 10 episodes were released online with fewer ads than shown on TV—a first for the channel. The series, about a young man who discovers he has superpowers after awakening from a 12-year coma, drew in 14.2 million viewers in its first week, with almost half watching online. (Bloomberg

Millennials are skipping YouTube ads, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. An analysis by LaunchLeap revealed that 59% of Millennials are skipping YouTube’s TrueView ads—those that advertisers only pay for if they are watched to completion. On the other hand, 29% are watching ads to completion—better engagement than on Snapchat. And they’re paying attention: a Google and Ipsos study found that attention paid to YouTube ads is 84% higher than advertising on TV. (Business Insider

Quote of the Day: "I binge-watch content to spend time with my spouse.”—Female, 32, OK 

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