Lights, Smartphone Camera, Upload: Understanding the YouTube Phenomenon

As the popular The Buggles song goes, ‘Video killed the radio star.’ In the age of digital media, it couldn’t have been truer. The Internet has effectively changed the way people access and view multimedia content like videos and images. Now that video-sharing sites like YouTube and Instagram are gaining a stronger hold on millions of users every day, radio stars are a thing of the past.

User-created media has been taking the Internet world by storm. Statistics estimate that online users upload millions of videos on YouTube alone. From make-up tips in motion backgrounds to movie trailers, videos on the popular site cater to a wide audience base.

Me Revolution

YouTube has also unwittingly ushered in a new kind of revolution—the ‘Me’ revolution. Because users have the free rein to do anything on their channel, some take this chance to carve their names on the online world. Over the years, the public has seen quite a lot of videos that are in one point, amusing, and in some, infuriating. Nonetheless, YouTube has become a testing platform for any ordinary citizen to be the next biggest Internet celebrity.

Social Awareness

YouTube is not only for public display of vanity, though. Matt Harding, the YouTube star who became well-known for dancing in iconic places around the world, uses his influence to raise awareness on some social issues. Non-government organizations and other social action groups are also turning to the popular site to provide information on other pressing matters at hand. One famous examples of this is when Egyptians used the video-hosting site to broadcast the events during the Arab Spring. Through their videos, the whole world had a glimpse of the real situation.

Mobile Age

Today, other sites are trying to rival YouTube’s influence both online and in mobile viewing. Vine and Instagram are the latest to challenge YouTube’s success. Marketers and advertisers hail these two platforms for opening a lot of opportunities to capture the lucrative mobile market. Brands can now use video backgrounds and short clips to create buzz for their products and services. You can browse websites to find more information on animated backgrounds and video loops.

Videos have the potential to change the world. In just a click of a button, they can create a different world for the viewers. No one can tell how far YouTube, Vine, Instagram, and other video sharing sites can go. But one thing is for sure—as long as there are willing audiences, they’re here to stay.