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Youtube Influencers: A new generation of celebrities can now be found in vloggers.

Media has always played a massive role in the consumerist aspect of the 21st century society. Between TV, music and the internet, the audiences are overwhelmed with entertainment options. Youtube, however, has taken the cake in recent years.

Starting in 2005, Youtube has grown in popularity and is now the most popular video site, according to Business Insider. No wonder, as the platform has content of seventy-two hours worth of video uploaded every minute. Its plethora of users watch approximately four billion hours of videos per month (Business Insider). Who is producing this content? Some of it is professional, such as music videos or other commercial works, while the majority, more intriguingly, is created by everyday people.

Youtube is unique in its platform because the internet has made it so easy for anyone who wishes to share something with the world to be able to simply upload and do so. From this easy-access platform rises a new generation of celebrities– Youtube influencers. Youtube influencers are those who have attracted much attention with their content, generating a mass following and uploading content regularly.

This new breed of celebrities has greatly impacted particularly the millennial generation in both good and bad ways. These celebrities are unique in the sense that many of them may have been, or close to, “overnight sensations.”

Before Youtube, musicians and movie stars were groomed for the social status. In many cases, their status is something that took a lot of training and many years– or perhaps, a lifetime to achieve. A lot of their industry is based on connections– who they know and who knows them.

Clearly, there are many differences between these rather traditional celebrities and Youtube influencers. What drives the millennial generation to them?

Millennials find Youtube influencers more authentic, according to Forbes. Before these influencers, much of the media industry was composed of celebrities that were well-groomed to be just that– celebrities. Most grew up with the knowledge that a lot of what is seen on TV is not real. Everyone is very used to the fact that everything is heavily edited and scripted in the media industry: heavy filters, airbrushed and a complete lack of authenticity. In stark contrast, Youtube influencers are authentic. They are real, everyday people, who are usually not groomed to be celebrities. Many produce content reflecting the values that they believe in or just a glimpse of what everyday life is as another human being. They are less afraid to talk about “controversial” topics that people are seeking answers to. Mental health, particularly, is something many influencers speak out about but seems hushed by the general media. They are more likely to be themselves, which is what draws viewers to watch. No one person is “normal,” and there is power and uniqueness in the general differences of “weirdness,” from one human to another. Amid the plastic, Youtube influencers provide millenials with a breath of fresh air.

Youtube influencers are more engaging, according to Forbes. Typically, to meet a celebrity, expensive tickets must be bought, arrangements must be made, and long lines must be waited in. With Youtube influencers, however, from the comfort of one’s own home and a single click, there is a comment thread. Youtube influencers generally make a point to keep in touch with their fans, engaging in comment threads and through the scheduling of Q&As. There is more of an authentic, relational idea behind these influencers (Forbes). People crave an authenticity that media was once not fulfilling, but Youtube influencers have answered the call.

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