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: “When I go out, I just go where my friends are going.”
—Female, 22, DC

Influencer marketing is on track to grow next year, despite “significant questions about its effectiveness.” According to analysis by Chute, 66% of marketers surveyed have an influencer marketing strategy in place, but the majority aren’t calculating its success by direct sales. Over eight in ten say their top goal with influencers is to reach a new audience, and to measure effectiveness more than 70% look at engagement—either through likes or comments on Instagram, sceenshots on Snapchat, etc.—followed by reach or views, and then referral link click-throughs. (Digiday)

Higher education needs to prepare itself for a new target market. A steep drop in births during the Great Recession is expected to lead to a decrease in the number of U.S. high school graduates, especially among Caucasians: according to a Georgetown Center report, in 2030 white students will account for less than half of high school graduates. Growth within the Hispanic community can offset the decline, signifying that “schools will need to re-orient themselves toward a Hispanic, first-generation population to stay competitive.” (The Wall Street Journal

Health-conscious Millennials have some misconceptions when it comes to GMOs. New Pew Research shows that 21% of 18-29-year-olds believe genetically modified foods are “very likely” to lead to health issues, and 25% believe they create problems for the environment. But in actuality, scientific research says that GM foods are safe to eat, and as long as they’re developed properly “don’t pose any unique, undue threat to the environment.” The study also found that 12% follow vegetarian or vegan diets, which according to scientific research is a healthy habit to take on. (NYMAG

All tech toys are not created equal—according to the Institution for Engineering and Technology. Created with the “mission to encourage more girls to pursue careers in engineering, science and technology,” the Institution recently found that stem toys are three times more likely to target boys over girls, and nine out of ten “girls’ toys” are pink. The Institution reports the stereotypically gendered toys could actually deter young girls interested in engineering. (The Guardian)

Live video is increasingly becoming the space to watch for audience engagement. According to MarketsandMarkets, live video will be a $70 billion industry by 2021, and on Facebook, live content is generating 10x the amount of comments than typical videos. The holidays have proven to be an ideal opportunity for brands looking to dive in on the trend: Lowe’s Black Friday deals unveiling on Facebook Live reached an audience of 32,000 during broadcast, while Taco Bell’s livestream of their annual Friendsgiving dinner generated as many as 150,000 viewers. (Adweek)

Quote of the Day: “When I go out I look for pool tables…or something to do other than drink.”

—Female, 23, CA

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