YouTube has come a long way since being founded in 2005. I remember going on the site just to watch music videos or watch funny cat clips. Eventually, many people created accounts as a form of escape. Some would just sit and talk to a camera while others did makeup tutorials. If you watch old videos, the production value was pretty low. It was simple and uncomplicated. Now, YouTubers have intros, effects, and sometimes even a team to shoot and edit their videos.
What was once a simple platform has turned into a business or career for some. It’s great to see this progress but recently the effects aren’t that great. We are starting to see YouTubers plateau or hit rock bottom. Because of algorithms and viewers, they are struggling to keep their channels afloat. Some resort to ridiculous clickbait and even creating content just for the sake of views. Yeah, it’s lame.
One YouTuber, however, has definitely risen from the ashes. He first started making videos in 2008 where he did skits. Later on he started to do conspiracy videos and a mishmash of other things that didn’t really have an overarching theme. In 2018, he has over 18 million subscribers. After feeling lost with his channel, he found something new to do with it. In the past year, he released a few vlog/reality TV type videos wherein he confronted his mom, dad, and hater. The videos were simple but very personal.
After that, he went on to create the first documentary-style series on his channel where he visited another YouTuber, Bunny Meyer aka grav3yardgirl. In these videos, they talk about her channel dying, try to help her improve it, and even uncover some deep emotions. These were so well-received and he enjoyed making them so much that he has made three more since then.
If you love documentaries, you have to watch these. There’s something about the topic, execution, and flow that makes it so interesting to watch. And, the way he releases it is in parts that are sometimes an hour long for each episode.
His series on Jeffree Star is probably my favorite one. Shane was able to get Jeffree to open up about his dark past and reveal how his company actually works. It gets really emotional but there are many funny moments too. I mean, it is Jeffree Star.
With Shane starting this series I could see YouTubers possibly following this route. These videos are leaps and bounds from what we’ve been seeing the past few years. These have been so successful but, can others pull it off? Well, the only way to find out is for them to try and for us to see the finished product. Beauty YouTuber has already tested it out with her video confronting the controversial brand Lime Crime.
As a viewer, I gravitate towards these videos because simple daily vlogging, DIYs, and hauls have become so saturated that they all feel the same. I mean, who would have thought that YouTubers would be making documentaries that took months to make? With these videos existing on the platform, others might feel pressured to switch up their content and give a fresh start. I’m excited to see how this shifts the way YouTube works.
Art by Marian Hukom
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