by Dylan Ricci
If you’ve been keeping up with the YouTube community from early 2014 to now, you probably would’ve noticed how some of its most watched users have been replicating their digital craft into tangible works of literature. That’s right, the YouTube community is almost unavoidable now that so many frequent video posters are branching onto more than just one sharing platform. Hannah Hart, Tyler Oakley, Grace Helbig, Mamrie Hart, Shane Dawson, Joey Graceffa, Miranda Sings, Connor Franta, and Zoe Sugg are just a few names within the YouTube alumni who’ve already had their books published; some of these even made it onto the New York Times Bestseller list.
At first, YouTubers writing books were looked at as a more progressive step for this community, but once so many hopped on the writing train, the legitimacy was questioned. Was this merely for money and/or publicity? Did the users themselves actually write their own works? It’s true that web stars have always been striving to make a name for themselves in comparison to stars in other forms of media, who rarely have their craft questioned.
When YouTubers began to receive paychecks for their popular videos, they were criticized on the basis of doing something that anyone could do in exchange for money. On the contrary, YouTube can thank its highly watched creators for a good chunk of the site’s success. An actor who absolutely bombs their part in a film will still be paid more than a YouTuber who has the potential to start an online movement. It’s true that not every popular YouTuber necessarily has good intentions, and not every YouTuber’s published work that you read will resonate with you as well as a Stephen King novel, but personally, I’m all for this transition between media outlets.
I’ve grown up watching many YouTubers. I believe they deserve to be recognized more for how much they did and continue to do for their viewers, not just financially but commercially as well. I don’t mind if a few of the bad apples are thriving, as long as the true talents of the web can receive the exposure that they deserve.
Whether you agree or disagree with the YouTube revolution, it won’t matter. The revolution is ever-growing and in constant movement.