When people think of celebrities, they most likely imagine someone like Beyoncé or Ryan Gosling. While there is no denying their fame, mainstream celebs need to make room on their red carpet for the millennial celebrity; YouTube influencers.
Since founded in 2005, YouTube has exploded and evolved into an unstoppable machine of content creation. As the world’s second largest search engine with over 3.25 billion hours of video watched each month, YouTube has the capacity to reach any millennial with access to a computer or smartphone. But what else makes YouTube celebrities such powerful influencers?
By far the biggest reason YouTube celebrities have such a large influence and following is because of the engagement they generate and display among their fans. There are fewer degrees of separation between fans and YouTube stars than with traditional celebrities. Many fans feel they have personal relationships with the stars they follow. Often times to subscribers, YouTube stars fall somewhere between celebrity and friend as aspirational figures who regularly interact with their fan base.
YouTube celebrities feel far more obtainable than traditional celebrities. YouTube stars speak directly to their fan base, sometimes engaging individually – something that is far less likely to happen with a megastar like Taylor Swift. YouTube stars don’t just speak to their following, they also listen to them setting them apart from “A-listers”. YouTube celebrities’ take their subscribers advice, consider their opinions, and ask what they want to see on the channel. It becomes a two-way relationship where both parties benefit, unlike traditional celebrities where usually no kind of relationship exists.
YouTube stars feel like real people and subscribers can often see themselves reflected in the influencers they follow, can relate to their issues, and feel they are understood by the person on the other side of the screen. When YouTube stars remain genuine and relatable as they gain popularity, they become that much more influential. The bottom line is in today’s world of content creation, engagement and authenticity generates trust and trust generates the biggest following among millennials.
YouTube stars are fortuned with the freedom to be as creative as they like. Traditional celebrities are often held back by contracts, studios, or agents which can limit their ability to be creative and authentic to their fans. The lack of obstructions YouTube stars have to face allows them to be dependable and candid with their content without Hollywood breathing down their neck.
YouTube not only makes it easier for anyone to create content, it also allows global access. While traditional celebrities may only be in major films or TV shows, which can be harder to obtain, YouTube creators and their abundance of content are only a click away. The viral nature of YouTube videos contributes to their success and popularity among millennials who spend a majority of their time online using social media and streaming content.
Whether you’re a gamer, makeup enthusiast, if you’re looking for a product review, how to, personal vlog, or comedic relief, there is a plethora of genres that appeal to everyone. The limitless creation of content allows anyone to find someone they can subscribe to. YouTube celebrities are the major influencers shaping our culture and setting trends for the millennial generation. These creators hold tremendous power in our society.
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