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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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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