Ypulse Essentials: RIP Microsoft KIN, Facebook Fatigue, CW Jump Starts Fall Lineup

kinWhat killed the KIN (Price points? Botched marketing? Functionality issues? Wired says all of the above led to the demise of the social networking phone, which Microsoft says will not launch in Europe as planned as part of a new strategy to focus on the Windows 7 phone. More post-mortem analysis on Ad Age, reg. required. Meanwhile Apple makes meeting Millennial mobile needs look easy, adding a second camera lens for self-portraits to the new iPhone) (ars technica) (New York Times, reg. required)

- Madonna’s daughter turns fashion blogger (to promote the Material Girl line for Macy’s. But is it ‘4 realz’? Gawker says the “tween LOLz patois.. is so rampant it must be fake.” And speaking of the commodification of youth culture, check out this essay on the new-model teen from PopMatters)

- MTV inks deal with Warner Music Group (for exclusive rights to ads around the music videos of thousands of Warner artists. Also Doug Akin of Mr. Youth reports back from the Bonnaroo music festival with lessons on what makes event sponsorship ‘epic’) (Clickz) (MediaPost, reg. required)

- One in five teens show signs of ‘Facebook Fatigue’ (A survey of 600 teens from online gaming site Roiworld show more signs of waning interest. Look for what our own Ypulse Research has to say on this coming soon) (Mashable)

- Mountain Dew taps skate shops (for a chance to have their designs featured on limited-edition packaging and posted on GreenLabelArt.com. And Seth Green teams with Nintendo to appear in new ads for “Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies”) (MediaPost, reg. required)

- CW gets a head start on fall programming (debuting most of its lineup more than a week ahead other networks. And over on Salon, day pass required, tough questions for “Real World” creator Jonathan Murray on returning to New…

 
 

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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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