I’m creating and sharing what I love!

YouTube and some vloggers, Brittany Blushardt, Odyssey, some rights reserved

YouTube is one of the most popular video sharing platform and the second most visited website worldwide(Bärtl, 2018). It has created the platform for people to share videos as user generated content to interact with others and create the sense of community.

By far, it has diverse range of genres and categories such as movies, tv shows, lifestyle or How to (DIY videos), educational videos , news and politics video , people and blogs (vlogs) , travel video and so on(Snickars & Vonderau, 2009, pp. 9-11).

The first section of the essay will give the overview of the background of YouTube and the Vlogging as the most popular content , the business model and the socio ecology of YouTube will be explained in the second and third section.

And lastly, the fourth section will analyze the main argument of the essay on vlogging  has transformed the way of entrepreneurship , policy for YouTube algorithms and monetization and creating content and  sense of community.

YouTube Logo, ElisaRiva, pixabay, some rights reserved

What is YouTube?

YouTube is the leading video sharing website which has millions of users uploading videos and sharing with others. It was started as the dating website  by three pay pales employees in February 2005(Bärtl, 2018).The clip named “ Me at the Zoo” was first ever video uploaded on this platform featuring the third co-founder in April 2005 (Snickars & Vonderau, 2009, pp. 9-11).

Screenshot of “Me at the zoo” video, No attribution required

And in 2006, google bought YouTube with $1.65 billion when the user-generated content website such as Facebook and Wikipedia become popular (Arthurs, Drakopoulous & Gandini, 2018).

Time magazine put the cover of announcing “you” as the person of the year which reflect on the YouTube style of using the interface to communicate(ibid., pp. 3-4). YouTube hit one billion daily video views in 2009 and in 2012, the video named “Gangnam style by PSY“ has reached one billion views(ibid.).

Today, YouTube has accomplished more than 800 million of the unique visitors each month, 72 hours plus videos uploaded per minute, more than one million partner program members, become the second search engine worldwide and have four billion of videos viewed each month (Bärtl, 2018, pp. 18).

Thus, YouTube transform the way people share their videos and it became the platforms for expressing self and communicating with others.

Vlogging, Selected Reviews Team, Selected ReviewsSelected Reviews Copyright © 2018

Background of YouTube’s most popular content: vlogging

As YouTube has constantly changing and has gained billion of views, it started to focus on the diversity of content which represent  different interests of people such as DIY channels, talk shows, vlog channels and so on.

Among those content, Vlogging or video blogs become one of the most demand and popular type of video on this platform(Arthurs, Drakopoulous & Gandini, 2018).

One of the earliest vlog was uploaded by a guy called Adam Kontras in 2000. He uploaded the video of him smuggling dogs into the hotel on his website(Mediakix Team, 2016). In 2005, YouTube has launched their free, searchable video platform , it has created the fundamental step for the vlogging (Ashman, Patterson & Brown, 2018).

 

Screenshot of “lonelyGirl15” YouTube Channel, no attribution required

“LonelyGirl15” has made the changes to the vlogging on the YouTube and the internet as whole(Cresi , 2016). She uploaded  vlogs of her daily activities and personal life(ibid.) . She became one of the young site’s most popular stars when the community of vloggers was slowly growing(ibid.).

Therefore, vlogs have changes the way people use express their passions, and it has helped users to develop deeper personal connection on the social media platform like YouTube.

YouTube’s  business model

Google and YouTube , Ash Haque, flickr, All rights reserved

YouTube is owned by Google and it allows users to upload videos on their channels, comment and subscribe other channels and  make money from monetizing videos(Bärtl, 2018, pp. 18- 22).Videos are also free to watch for everyone(ibid.).

Apart from this video producing, it has games and music specializing platforms(Dutta, 2017). YouTube also become the commercializing  space where user-generated content are tied to the monetization and the popularity of videos depend on algorithms grades(Arthurs, Drakopoulous & Gandini, 2018, pp. 7-8).

Since this platform is mostly based on the advertising, it also focus on the preferences of advertising companies and brand related content that would increase partnership with big brands(ibid.). Furthermore, Micro-celebrities are the increasing form in the business model through self-branding, promoting themselves and expressing or extending their careers through YouTube(Snickars & Vonderau, 2009, pp. 372).

YouTube : Broadcast Yourself , Dan Lurie , flickr, All rights reserved

It is evident that YouTube has become transformative  platform for people to communicate and interact with others. The term produsers has developed to blur the line between producers and consumers(Duffy & Wissinger, 2017) .

It include ordinary citizens recording themselves and creating the content from their bedrooms starting to reframe the socio-economy of YouTube and become entrepreneurs (Bärtl, 2018, pp. 18- 22) . As YouTube brand itself as “Broadcast yourself” ,it becomes important platform for the participatory culture and increasing of creative consumers(ibid.).

YouTube is the most important example of changing media environment where their practices and production are associated with “cultural production and consumption, commercial and non-commercial enterprise and professionalism and amateurism interact” (Ashman, Patterson & Brown, 2018, pp. 481).

YouTube’s  social ecology

As YouTube become popular , it also become the space for 400 hours of content, 76 different languages created not only by users but also by companies and  big brands (Dutta , 2017). It has increase the number of micro-celebrities who promote themselves and earn through YouTube.

Their main product is users and they use the advertising based strategy to feature advertising on their platforms to have benefits for both companies and themselves (Dutta, 2017) .

Advertisement on YouTube, Arieez Dutta, FeedoughFeedough © 2018. All Rights Reserved.

It gives the space for advertising such as sponsored ,embedded advertisement  and landing page advertisements(ibid.) .YouTube also have the paid content that big companies partnered with top creators to create the content that users have to pay for the subscription or purchase fees to get the access(ibid.).

There are also the product links that show up on the YouTube, those products companies also have to pay the commission to YouTube if users buy their products(ibid.). YouTube supplies are produced by  users and creators which are commercialized into the product and income for youtubers and the platform itself.

It also promote their services that facilitate users’ experience and quality of the platform such as

 

Screenshot of YouTube Premium, No Attribution required

YouTube Red or YouTube premium

YouTube has announced the paid new version in 2015 called YouTube Red (Dutta, 2017). It include the paid subscriptions, ad-free videos, music and the offline downloads (ibid.).

Google renamed it into YouTube premium and includes YouTube music , YouTube originals , which is similar to Amazon prime and Netflix(ibid.).

 

Screenshot of YouTube TV, no attribution required

YouTube TV

It is the TV streaming services and putting addition networks including TBS, TNT, CNN, Cartoon network, Trutv and Turner classic movies(Dutta, 2017). I

t add to the monthly packages and get users access to famous movies and shows (ibid.). It also partnered with Universal, Sony pictures and Warner Bros and others to offer the full length movies(ibid.).

 

Screenshot of YouTube Go, no attribution required

YouTube Go

It is an app for the android phones where users can download it and watch videos on go. Google has announced YouTube go at the Google event in Delhi which launch more products target on the Indian market(ibid.).

Screenshot of YouTube Music, no attribution required

YouTube Music

It is a streaming service which include the different catalogues of genres. The platform has launched the YouTube Music in 2015.

It announced new version of this in 2017 which include the recommended music according to the locations and it also have the category of  “hot list’ and “new releases”(ibid.). It also extended to many different countries which has the existing rivals of Apple music, Spotify .

YouTube is the online platform for uploading the diverse range of content such as entertainment, educational , music and vlogs. Moreover, it also extended their business with paid packages that feature many different movies and music.

This has get to the interest of its other popular video producing competitors which also have the platform to produce videos such as Vimeo, Twitch , Flickr ,Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and Facebook videos.

YouTube’s social ecology map

Vlogging : one of the transformative content on YouTube

Entrepreneurship

Since YouTube itself become the transformative platforms, there is the popular content that transform the way people participate in this platform.

It is called Vlogging or video blogging which is the crucial part for creators and YouTube sense of community (Raun, 2014). It has started with the webcam and people vlogging about their daily activities( Mediakix Team, 2016).

Since vlogs become one of the most viewed and engaged form of content , creators have realized that they can make money out of their videos  and it has increase  entrepreneurs who dedicate themselves to upload daily vlogs(Ashman, Patterson & Brown, 2018, pp. 475-478).

Thus, entrepreneurs like Youtubers rely on views, likes and numbers of subscribers that exchange into the currency.

Screenshot of YouTuber Lilly Singh’s daily vlogs, no attribution required

Moreover, they also gained income through advertising, sponsorship and self-branding.

They are monetized to the channels and content of the vloggers to promote brand and advertising companies (Alvarez , 2017). Developing the personal brand on YouTube is the growing trends and many  vloggers transform their self-representation into the profitable personal branding(Maguire , 2015).

These have resulted in the consumer empowerment on YouTube and it has transform amateur vloggers into microcelebrities(ibid.).

Screenshot of Jake Paul promoting merchandise, no attribution required

Policy for algorithm and monetization

Another transformative factor is changes in YouTube policy on algorithm and monetizing, YouTube algorithm is “ the recommendation system” that give suggestion on users content that reach more audience as viral or trending(Wolf, 2016).

YouTube algorithms prioritize on channels that have high frequency uploads and  for vloggers who make money through this platform (Bishop , 2018).

Screenshot of YouTube’s trending page, no attribution required

Advertisement and merchandise relating to the YouTube, it creates the pressure to upload daily to maintain the position as top creators(Bishop, 2018).

For example, vloggers like Paul brothers who frequently post vlogs have been promoted throughout YouTube platform(ibid.).

Monetization is defined “as managing content on YouTube depend on advertisement and subscriptions “(Wolf, 2016).

Due to the result of the vlog by famous vlogger, Logan Paul, posting about suicide forests , it has created the impact on amateur vloggers and monetization on YouTube(Alexandar 2018).

By this controversy, YouTube has released the new tight rule and raising the requirements for monetizing videos(ibid.) .

As some publication like Polygon has stated that it is required and inevitable. For creators to make money , they have to establish 4000 hours of watching time in past 12 months and have at least 1 thousand subscribers(ibid.).

Screenshot of Verge online website, no attribution required

However, this have negative impact on the small vloggers who are starting their channels or taking a break for mental issues(Levin, 2018).

Content creating and sense of community

Social media as sense of community,Vlog Nation, Copyright © 2018 VlogNation.com 

Most of the social media content constituted the interactive audience and authenticity , intimate content and appeal to the community.

Vlogging on YouTube also transform the way users create the content and forming the sense of community.  Microcelebrities like vloggers are expected to perform certain form of labor that show accessibility, connectedness, availability and intimacy(Cunnigham & Craig, 2017).

Vloggers usually look at the camera and gives impression of communicating directly as “you” and “you guys”(Tarnovskaya , 2017). Most of these activities are occurred at home which gives the authenticity and intimacy that attract the young audience(Raun, 2018) .

Vloggers create content that usually talk about their personal life such as love life, mental issues , family and emotional problems that would act as therapy for both creators and the audience (Raun, 2018).

Screenshot of Trisha Paytas’ video, no attribution required

Another emotional and physical exposure vlogs that attract to particular kind of community is transgender vlogs (Raun, 2014).

These vloggers make updates where they list their changes about their bodies(ibid.).

Transgender vlogger, Julie Van Vu is an example of microcelebrities who upload vlogs that shows her transitions and engaging with other trans people around the world(ibid.).

These authenticity and intimacy also create through establishing the interactive community to the audience and creators(ibid.).

Screenshots of Julie Van Vu’s transition vlogs,no attribution required

Creator’s authenticity has gained through their ability to stand up for the community and discussing on the personal or social issues that is relatable for large amount of people (Cunnigham & Craig,  2017).

Vlogs emerge the documentation of one’s private self to public consumption and give glimpse to the ordinary lives of famous vloggers (Berryman & Kavka , 2017) .

Therefore, micro-celebrities are expected to maintain the authenticity and transparency in their vlogs to foster the sense of community.

Conclusion

YouTube logo in the film role, geralt, Pixabay, some rights reserved

In conclusion, YouTube become the transformative platform for the way users interact with others and it has expended into different kind of digital media which contribute in the diversity for Media Landscape.

Vlogging is also the important part of YouTube transformation on the level of transforming the way of careers, policy for monitoring videos and creating content that would foster the intimacy and transparency in the sense of community.

Thus, YouTube as a whole create the strong sense of membership and transformed the numerous lives of people to make money out of their content and impact on people around the world.

Reference list

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Alexander, J. (2018, January 17). Youtube’s lesser-known creators worry for the future after major monetizatin changes (update). Polygon.Retrieved from https://www.polygon.com/2018/1/17/16900474/youtube-monetization-small-creators-adsense

Alexandar, J (2018, January 18). YouTube’s new monetization rules are controversial, painful and necessary. Polygon.Retrieved from https://www.polygon.com/2018/1/18/16906036/youtube-monetization-small-creators-top-creators-changes

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Berryman, R., & Kavka, M. (2017). ‘I Guess A Lot of People See Me as a Big Sister or a Friend’: the role of intimacy in the celebrification of beauty vloggers. Journal of Gender Studies.26(3). doi: https://doi.org/10.1080/09589236.2017.

Bishop, S. (2018, February 7). Why it’s harder than ever to make money on YouTube. The Conversation. Retrieved from https://theconversation.com/why-its-harder-than-ever-to-make-money-on-youtube-90715

Bishop, S. ( 2018). Anxiety, panic and self-optimization: Inequalities and the YouTube algorithm. The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies.24(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.1177/1354856517736978

Cresi, E. (2016, June 16). Lonelygirl15: how one mysterious vlogger changed the internet.The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jun/16/lonelygirl15-bree-video-blog-youtube

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Tarnovskaya, R. (2017). Reinventing Personal Branding Building a Personal Brand through Content on YouTube. Journal of International Business Research and Marketing. 3(1). Retrieved from 4https://researchleap.com/reinventing-personal-branding-building-personal-brand-content-youtube/

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Moe Moe Myintzue Aye
About Moe Moe Myintzue Aye 3 Articles
Hi! My name is Moe Moe Myintzue Aye. I am studying Media and Communication at University of Sydney. I love writing about the technology and how it works because they are the closet things that exist to us and we use every single day!

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