By Molly Garcia
Youtube is a social media platform where creators make and upload videos for people watch. Since the beginning of Youtube, there have been creators who have gained popularity, so much so that they become somewhat of a celebrity.
Today, in 2020, there are tons of people who maintain their lifestyles by creating and uploading videos to Youtube as their full-time job. When Youtube first started, there was not a name for these people (because it was not as big of a thing), but now we call these people “Youtubers.” Youtubers earn money from Adsence and sponsorships, relying on their following and the Youtube algorithms to view their videos and boost revenue.
All of these Youtubers with extraordinarily large followings have at least one thing in common. They started their channels from nothing, likely making and uploading videos because they enjoyed making them. Once their following started to grow the content of their channel is likely to have changed to fit their broader audience, for better or for worse.
This video by Tiffany Ferguson talks more about what the idea of relatability and what it means when someone stops being relatable.
Because a full-time Youtuber’s job is their social media presence and reputation, they must pay attention to what is being said about them online. In class, we discussed this idea by calling it social monitoring and social listening. Youtubers engage in social monitoring because what is being said about them directly impacts their sponsorships, following and, subsequently, their paycheck.
When Youtubers begin to get negative attention they issue what is now called a “Youtube apology.”
According to this Vice article, “Watch enough of them, and every YouTube apology video starts to feel the same. The sigh isn’t always literal; sometimes it’s spiritual, less a slump in tone and more a slump of the soul, if you will.” The article goes on to say, “YouTube, apologies…have become just another product. With high-profile stars always selling something, the apology video is a necessary step of damage control. And if the scandal blows up enough, the apology video can be a way of reeling in new viewers, too.”
A perfect example of this is the James Charles apology video. He saw what his peers were saying about him, and issued the apology. While he deleted the original video, others have uploaded it for everyone to watch.
James Charles may have been deemed “canceled” for a little while because of this scandal, but the reality is that “cancel culture” does not work. After a while, the scandal will blow over, the influencer will gain new followers and sponsors, and everyone will move on.
To conclude, doing Youtube full-time is an interesting job because you have to be ready to respond any accusation made about you. You must always engage in social monitoring and listening, and even if something does go wrong, some are able to bounce back as if nothing happened.