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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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: "GoPro does a great job appealing to my generation because they convince regular people that they are adventurous, like many college kids like to think of themselves." –Male, 22, MD

Facebook continues to evolve to keep up with social platform competitors attracting younger users. The site has announced changes to their standalone chat app Messenger that will transform it into a platform that third parties can develop content and services for, including games, hotel bookings, tickets, and peer-to-peer payments. The new Businesses on Messenger feature would allow users to chat with brands to make purchases and change orders, and could make shopping a more personal experience. Facebook will also be adding the ability to chat with memes and GIFs, features that have proved popular with young consumers on other chat apps. (re/code,Fast Company)

Millennials are wary of investments, and generally anxious about their finances, and some have turned to new services that let them take baby steps into the financial world. More traditional institutions have certainly taken notice. Northwestern Mutual recently acquired LearnVest, a startup that offers free and paid financial planning services including articles, advice, and access to an expert for guidance on spending and budgets. The purchase is the latest in a trend of financial tech companies being snapped up by older, less digitally savvy brands. (FortuneBusiness Insider)

While many startups and sites are working to combat cyberbullying, one app is receiving an enormous amount of backlash for fostering the behavior in high schools. Burnbook allows users to join communities, usually around a school, remain anonymous, and post on topics of their choice. Although the app encourages “jokes, fails, wins, shout outs, revelations, proclamations, and confessions,” posts have been used to target specific people and groups, and threats have been made to at least one school. Some parents and teens are trying to use the app to spread positivity, but those posts don’t seem to outweigh the “gruesome things.” (Mashable)

Toys “R” Us will begin to sell an experience alongside its products with the hope of regaining their footing in the toy industry. Discount options like Wal-Mart and Amazon have hurt the chain’s sales over the past few years, so new plans to revamp stores will add physical play areas and more technology for kids to interact with. The retailer wants to be a place “where kids want to go and play,” and their new prototype store will open later this year. (Bloomberg)

For better or for worse, technology is becoming an intrinsic part of childhood, but boys and girls might not be growing up with the same tech experiences. A new study of parents of kids ages two to nine found that in many cases, parents give their children different devices depending on their gender. Sons were more likely to be given smartphones or gaming devices while daughters received more tablets (73% vs. 65% for boys). Parents were also more likely to use tech to calm down sons, with 48% using a device to help soothe boys when they are upset, compared to 37% for girls. (Kidscreen)

That image at the bottom of our newsletter is a gateway to insights and expert commentary on current and future Millennial trends. Clicking on it takes readers to our daily insights article, available to Silver and Gold subscribers, which illuminates a facet of Millennial culture and helps subscribers to understand the "why" behind the "what." Drawing from our ongoing collection of proprietary data, our deep-dive desk research, and our 10-year history of studying this generation, we figure out what it all means for brands and marketers. (Ypulse)

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