One of the more unexpected findings from our focus group data was the popularity of ‘YouTuber’ celebrities, including gamers. Before the interviews, I thought of YouTube as a site to watch videos followed from links shared by friends, or search for old clips of shows, interviews or news stories. However, many of the young people we spoke to used YouTube by subscribing to particular YouTube channels and following popular YouTubers. While many people can upload videos to YouTube, the term ‘YouTuber’ was generally used to describe those who regularly posted videos and had a following of subscribers.
Participants talked about how YouTube videos circulated between their online and offline worlds, and debated how far being a YouTuber counted as legitimate work. In this post Laura takes a look at some of the themes emerging from young people’s talk about YouTube during the group interviews.