September 17, 2021

Youtubers and Social Monitoring

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.

While some channels have maintained their status without changing their content too much, (like Jenna Marbles and Joana Ceddia) other successful Youtubers have lost touch with reality.

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.

8 thoughts on “Youtubers and Social Monitoring

  1. It feels like Youtubers became an overnight sensation and they took over the internet. We allow Youtubers to dictate what we want to watch, listen to, and buy because of all the products they end up advertising in their videos. It is crazy to think that someone can become famous solely but recording themselves talking and going through the motions of their daily activities. Youtubers’ loyal fans have increased over the years it will be interesting to see where the YouTube industry will be in the next few years.-Jamie Dunn

  2. Youtube has definitely changed since it started up years ago. There is pretty much always some sort of sponsorship that goes with any given youtube video, which almost takes the joy out of watching your favorite youtubers because you question if they are really doing it for the fans or for the money. I have noticed a change just by the fact that the earlier videos that started out on the site came from people who genuinely had a passion for making these videos and made them solely for the purpose of personal satisfaction and viewers’ entertainment. Nowadays it is hard to judge who is being real versus who is putting on a face as a persona. Given the drastic change youtube has undergone in the last several years, it will be interesting to see how it continues to grow.

  3. I agree that Youtube has changed drastically over the years, I remember watching youtube as a kid, and seeing people post content as a new form of social media that made it easy to connect to others voices and stories to now where it feels that content is pushed for the sake of monetization. I think it’s a great full-time job if you know what you are doing, have a good personality and pay attention to trends. With that being said, the monetization factor has really changed how people tell their stories and the content they post.

  4. YouTube has gone from regular people uploading funny videos to a full on business in such a short amount of time. It seems like every day there is a new scandal to hear about in the YouTube community. Celebrities from the movies, television, and musicians that deal with the fame on a daily basis are given the tools from their personal team on how to act in the public eye. YouTubers on the other hand can go viral at any moment, pushing them into the spotlight for the whole world to comment and criticize on. Along with gaining sponsorships and fame, dealing with hate and criticism from a people you don’t know is a big adjustment. With this adjustment, it can be hard for YouTubers to stay true to themselves and their content that made their viewers love them so much in the first place.

  5. When I began watching YouTube videos in early high school, I had no idea that people could be making money from the videos that they were creating. Today, there are videos on YouTube that will show you exactly how much specific YouTubers make and where they gain most of their profits from. I will be interested to see if the trend will ever stop or if it will continue forever. If it begins to lose popularity, I wonder where these popular influencers will go to share their content.

  6. YouTuber’s seem to gain celebrity-status by showing off their lives as being perfect and amazing. Of course no one’s life is perfect but YouTube influencers seem to believe that is how they will gain popularity. There are those who post their makeup routines, daily routines and sometimes shopping “hauls” and we, as consumers, give in to those videos and engage as much as we can. One of the main assumptions of YouTubers is that they want to start a channel to have someone to talk to, which then leads to them being one of the most popular influencers on the internet. These YouTubers then get branding deals, get their videos sponsored and eventually get paid to promote certain brands.

  7. It seems like Youtubers have taken over all of social media and the internet. Youtubers influence what we watch, eat, listen to, and purchase because of the sponsorships and advertising they incorporate into their videos. It is kinda strange to think that someone can get so much fame from videoing their daily life. Youtubers’ fan bases have grown so much in such a short amount of time, and i’m so interested to see what YouTubers’ will be doing within the next few years.

  8. It’s really obnoxious when YouTubers or celebrities let their status get to their heads or lose touch with their audience. I watched this happen to one of my former favorite channels, H3H3, over the course of four years as it became more and more of a full-time job for the creator than a fun side-project. This also parallels when rappers become mainstream and forget their roots or what it’s like to not be rich. This creates a huge lifestyle gap between the audience and the content they see, which I agree is a turn-off.

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