British youtubers at vidcon

By Gage Skidmore (Originally posted to Flikr in the album Vidcon 2014)

Vloggers have only really sprung onto the scene, in the last few years. Most of them have already become hugely successful in their early 20’s and have huge fanbases to boot, whilst the rest of us are still floating around at uni trying to figure out what to do with our lives. But what makes them so popular? At the end of the day, for most people, they’re just people who film from their bedrooms and make money from it.

Although we have no idea how much they actually earn (Would you want people knowing how much you earn a month? Probably not.) it’s clear to see they’re not scrapping the barrell. In 2013- director of youtube Sarah Mormino said youtubers earning went up 60%. 4 years on, I can imagine that’s considerably higher.

Even youtube is trying to grow the vlogging community and create more ‘creators’ since it realised it’s manual and youtube videos to do so, with it’s aim to turn ‘creativity into a career’ it’s a youtube platform that teaches other people how to turn youtube into a career.

Most youtubers never intended for their channels to become so popular, for most it started as an outlet/hobby and now they’re gracing magazine covers, such as Glamour and Cosmopolitan and releasing books and merchandise on a daily basis. But why are they so popular?

We might not admit it, but we’re all nosy. I myself enjoy watching what someone’s been buying or doing on a day-to-day basis, no matter how mundane. Youtubers are ‘real’ people at the end of the day, there is a youtube genre to suit everyone: beauty, lifestyle, gaming, baking, fashion, food, travel or just even watching families vlog their day. We can all identify with them and we might even be a bit envious of them. Some of us might watch them for inspiration, on clothes or baking etc. We can all get an outlet. Even Sarah  Mormino said that youtubers have “captured a new way of creating content and a new way of engaging an audience”.

Zoella, with over 9 million subscribers, regularly talks about dealing with anxiety, which many young people can identify with. Hearing people in the ‘limelight’ go through similar issues as the rest of us makes them more than just someone we admire, it’s someone we can all look up to and learn from and they feel so much more ‘real’. With her fresh face and friendly attitude, many young people/tweens call Zoella/Zoe Sugg their ‘big sister’ because they face similar issues as her and she’s available at a click of a button. It’s not just Zoella, who’s spoken of their anxiety, although not as often, is Tanya Burr who again uses this as a way to connect with her subscribers.

Not only issues of anxiety regularly come up on Youtube, but celebrities coming out such as Ingrid Neilson and Joey Graceffa have both recently come out on the internet, enables their fans to identify with them, as for both of them not many of their friends and family were even aware before coming out on youtube. Despite society being more accepting of homosexuality, this was still a big moment for the media platform, with over 35million hits on both their coming out videos, hordes of fans gave their support and others gave their criticisms. But for many, who follow the vloggers this gave them the confidence to come out to their friends and family, which helps being the LGBT community forward.

Unlike traditional celebrities, vloggers open up their homes and lives to the internet which makes them more identifiable with the public. You’ll never hear a vlogger say the word ‘fan’ and most of them referring to them as friends, which is part of they’re likability with people.

However, they are prone to criticism for example, on the day that Alfie Deyes published his book, Vice printed an article titled “Vain and Inane: The Rise of Britain’s Dickhead Vloggers” which the article’s author, Joe Bishop, said that they have “no charisma, no talent and no guile” which did caused quite a backlash from the internet. Despite, having his own youtube channel, Joe states he has “no respect” for the platform and regularly mocks well known vloggers. Joe shares the opinions of many others, who feel they earn too much money for what they do or they get too much fame at the end of the day someone’s always going to dislike you and if you have millions of eyes on you, that’s a lot more people to dislike you.

Ultimately youtubers are getting bigger each day and who knows if they’ll still be around in 10 years time, they could pass as a fad but looking at the level of popularity and different career steps their taking from youtube, they’re here to stay for now.

Catch you soon loves