Ypulse Essentials: Nicktoons Turns 20,'Breaking Dawn' Stills, KidZui Creates A Children's Search Enginge

Happy Birthday, Nicktoons! (Twenty years ago, Nickelodeon debuted “Doug,” “Rugrats,” and “Ren & Stimpy” – the very first Nicktoons, which revolutionized children’s TV! Thankfully “Doug” is currently part of the network’s The 90s Are All That block, but we miss the other beloved programs! Animation has changed a lot over the years and you can expect it to continue to adapt thanks to researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Disney Research. They’ve teamed up to build 3D face models, which will give characters improved facial expressions) (Nickandmore) (Kidscreen)

- Twihards rejoice! (New stills from “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn: Part 1” are here and trust us, you’ll want to see them. We can hardly wait for the movie to come out this fall! Speaking of excitement, we’re even more eager for “The Hunger Games” after seeing a new still of Gale at The Reaping. And in other entertainment news, two new characters have been cast for “Glee” Season 3...“Friday Night Lights”‘s LaMarcus Tinker will play Mercedes’s boyfriend and Vanessa Lengies of “American Dreams” will play Sugar, a mean girl who can’t carry a tune) (Entertainment Weekly) (MTV) (JustJaredJr)

- Kids are taking over the digital space (which is why KidZui launched a kid-friendly search engine called Zui.com. The site features a user-friendly design and age-appropriate YouTube videos, games, images, and suggestions for similar search terms. Zui.com is also Facebook-compatible so kids can share content with their parents if they’re on the social network. Apparently babies need tablets too, which is why tech company Vinci is releasing a device for children zero to four years old. It includes games, story books, and music videos that are designed to teach kids basic language, cognition,…

 
 

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“I don't spend money, really on anything. I enjoy video games and will enjoy getting video games, but I receive as gifts from grandparents, parents”—Female, 14, IA

Airbnb is booming in Africa, where young travelers are “looking for culture rather than comfort.” Over two million people have used Airbnb in Africa to book vacation accommodations in the last five years, reportedly earning African hosts $139 million in just the past year. Wanderlusting Millennials are pushing themselves out of their comfort zones to discover new places, rather than retread old ground, and locales like Africa are getting a boost because of it. (Quartz)

Nielsen says they finally have a way to measure Netflix viewership—but Netflix says they’re way off base. Nielsen claims they can keep track of all viewing on the platform, including originals, “whether or not a studio or network wants them to.” Netflix claims, “The data that Nielsen is reporting is not accurate, not even close, and does not reflect the viewing of these shows on Netflix.” Ouch. Regardless, Nielsen’s move is a step in the right direction to measure what The Post-TV Genis watching, and has “direct implications for the ad business.” (MediaPostAdAgeFortune)

Influencers are using Instagram’s new polling feature, beating brands to the punch. Influencer network Blog Lovin’ found that 66% of their followers (many of which are influencers) had already used polling, while 87% plan to in the future. Polling is not only an opportunity to engage with customers but a way for brands to “[ask] for feedback about products, creat[e] engagement around topics that are in the media and [conduct] market research.” But brands have been slow to ask influencers to use the new story feature for promotions or to utilize the feature on their standalone accounts. (Glossy)

High school students are increasingly taking college courses—but little is known about whether it will benefit them. Thanks to dual-enrollment programs, which are expanding rapidly, students can get a head start on college credits, cutting down on the cost of higher education. Some also argue that Advanced Placement courses are more rigorous, and worthier of students’ extra effort. However, the impacts of programs on “a diverse set of students” is not yet known. (WSJ)

Kids have online influencers too, and they’re pushing branded toys to devoted viewers. Unboxing videos on YouTube are not a new phenomenon, but kid stars unboxing toys are getting brands’ attention as a way to leverage The Influencer Effect. MGA Entertainment, the world’s largest private toy company, pivoted 90% of their ad spend to digital in 2014 and report the strategy is paying off. Studies show children’s attention is switching from cable to YouTube, and influencers help brands reach a “much more engaged smaller audience” and give them “that potential for virality.” (Bloomberg)

"I love coffee and love the experience of having someone make me a nice latte. I like being around other people and hanging out in restaurants or cafes.”—Female, 20, PA

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