When I first came across the modern phenomenon that is today’s “YouTube Culture”, I was blown away by the immensity of it all. For years, this community of internet-dwellers had been blossoming, and under the nose of popular means of culture for its entirety. Communities of ‘vloggers’, and ‘reviewers’, and ‘haulers’ and ‘beauty gurus’ had been expanding progressively over a relatively short period of time, to something that influences even the most obstinate technophobes in their daily lives.
“YouTube Culture” is the vastly growing concept that the popular website’s users have coined to describe the relationships between creator and viewer, and how this relates to our modern day society.
Since the website’s introduction in February 2005, the select group of creators has grown and grown expansively, and now the site has over 1 billion unique users every month, with over 40 hours of video footage being uploaded every minute.
In 2012 I was introduced to the online sensation that is YouTube Culture, and still today I am shocked by the vastness and variety that one website can hold. And not only this, but the influence it can have on not just one person, but millions of viewers across the globe. One creator’s upload can be instantly viewed in 61 countries in all corners of the Earth, in over 61 languages. In mere seconds, a three minute long rant can receive thousands of millions of views.
And it is through this that the evolution of the ‘YouTuber’ has come about.
A ‘YouTuber’ is counted as any one person who owns and runs a YouTube channel, and uploads on a fairly regular basis to a fairly wide audience. This can differ of course (not naming any names but regular uploads, cough-cough, Dan and Phil) but it is a widely known and used term.
In fact, this social media phenomenon has become so expansive, all the other industries are trying to get a piece of the action. (In other words, books, books, books!) The celebrity atmosphere that has descended on the “YouTube Fandom” has become something akin to the same type of celebrity culture that we associate with film stars and athletes. These ordinary people with video cameras have evolved to the shiny, sparkly people we see in magazines and on the telly, plus rumour has it that they earn just as much.
What is the future for YouTube Culture? Are these small-screen celebrities ever going to come down from the top, or just keep rising?