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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“Most of the role models and leaders in my life have been Gen Xers so far."

–Male, 16, WI

Instagram has reached 700 million active users, and its growth has been speeding up. The app hit the new user mark just four months after reaching 600 million, and the introduction of Instagram stories in August may be a major contributor to its accelerated growth. The feature has a reported 200 million daily active users compared to Snapchat’s 161 million. Overall, Instagram now has twice the user base of Twitter and is quickly approaching the coveted 1 billion user mark that Facebook, WhatsApp, and Messenger have reached. (TechCrunch)

Millennials are using social media and YouTube to decide what to buy. A U.K. study found 32% of 18-24-year-olds are using social media to research their purchase decisions before checking out, and 25% are using video platforms like YouTube. There are also signs they’d like to search for products on social media: 25% of U.K. 18-24-year-olds reported the desire to search media based on their lifestyle and 23% would like search to understand their current mood. These findings, paired with the detailed targeting available to advertisers, are changing the consumer journey from search query to cart. (AdvertisingWeek)

Millennials are keeping 70% of their money in cash, reluctant to invest in anything, from stocks to their own retirement plans—according to new BlackRock research. Clearly impacted by the Great Recession, Millennials are most likely to agree, "What you might earn investing isn't worth the risk of losing your money," and a third say “they learned what not to do with their money” from watching their parents. They also tend to undervalue the potential returns of investments by millions of dollars, which is not good news for their futures—at their current rate, most Millennials will have less than $1 million saved for retirement. (TheStreet)

Influencer marketing is proving its worth. Though marketers have worried about determining ROI with the approach, one report is claiming it’s more effective than advertising alone, showing a direct lift in results rates of up to 30%. Across 450 influencers and 11 campaigns, the expansive research compared results from consumers exposed to ads featuring influencers versus control groups, overwhelmingly showing increased action when an influencer was involved. Good news for marketers, who spent $570 million on influencer marketing on Instagram alone last year. (Adweek)

The Amazon Echo can now help pick your outfit—and tell you when you don’t look good. LED lights and a depth-sensing camera will let the new Echo Look take pictures of any look, and “Style Check” software “combines machine learning algorithms with advice from fashion specialists” to evaluate which outfit is best, and lets you compare pictures of multiple outfits, from multiple angles. Amazon’s already extensive product recommendations could feasibly be a part of this product’s future—and, if all goes well, a drone will ship the recommended new clothes to your door. (Quartz)

“I want to work for myself so that I can have more flexibility and be my own boss. I have an online business.”
—Female, 16, FL

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