Which YouTube stars and subcultures will astound and amaze me?
December 3, 2014 1:27 PM   Subscribe

I'm amazed that a YouTube star who started filming videos about hair and makeup in her bedroom has just released the fastest selling debut novel of all time. I'm also amazed that watching toy reviews or other people playing video games are such a big deal. So what other YouTube big YouTube trends will similarly blow my mind?

Of course, I know about the big memes and things that have crossed over into mainstream pop culture (eg.Gangnam Style and Charlie Bit My Finger). But what under-the-radar subcultures are thousands of kids into that I'll never have heard of?
posted by Junebug79 to Computers & Internet (20 answers total) 49 users marked this as a favorite
The one that blows my mind is ASMR videos.
posted by entropone at 1:30 PM on December 3, 2014 [2 favorites]

Came in to say ASMR as well. If you want a curated selection of them, the ASMR subreddit is a good place.

Zit-popping (as well as things popping in general) is also a thing, but I'll let you google that one on your own.
posted by jbickers at 1:34 PM on December 3, 2014 [2 favorites]

Thirding ASMR.
posted by samthemander at 1:37 PM on December 3, 2014

Magic. Want to learn to cast a spell properly? How to make a proper blood sacrifice to the Lord of darkness? Make someone love you? Make someone else (or poss same person) a vampire? Check YouTube.

eta: so much better if you can speak several non English languages.
posted by fshgrl at 1:37 PM on December 3, 2014 [3 favorites]

There are people who post videos of elevators and describe the technical details of them. I only know this because a coworker's son does it.
posted by interplanetjanet at 1:39 PM on December 3, 2014 [3 favorites]

These might be a bit broader than what you're looking for, but "unboxing" videos (people carefully taking new things they've acquired out of the box) and "haul" videos (shoppers showing off things they've just purchased) are both big things, too.
posted by jbickers at 1:43 PM on December 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Slow TV, previously on MetaFilter.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:05 PM on December 3, 2014

Eat Your Kimchi is made by two Canadians in Korea about living in Korea (food, culture, society, and then a strong side-channel specifically for K-Pop), and that's been a full-time job for the two of them for several years, plus at least two employees, and then they just opened a cafe.

I have no idea how this is a business, but I watch all their non-Kpop stuff as soon as it comes out and my husband will stop what he's doing to come watch too. They're just so nice.
posted by Lyn Never at 2:28 PM on December 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Yogscast was originally two people playing WoW and Minecraft, but it has grown into loose group of channels renting 2 floors of an office building. What is amazing with them is their christmas livestreams, where they have each night in December do 5-7 hour charity drives playing games and being generally fun/stupid. ( on twitch.tv right now.) Last year they collected >1 million for charity, this year they will probably raise even more (225 000$ in first 4 days). Yogscast in general, for me at least, presents an admirable, kind – but foulmouthed – side of gaming culture. Following the progress of their charity drive with technical difficulties, chat catastrophies, drunken britishness and all has become part of christmas season for me.
posted by Free word order! at 2:42 PM on December 3, 2014

DisneyCollector in case you missed it. I know you mentioned toy reviews but the "unboxing" stuff isn't always really a review. My big hurdle to start understanding "Let's Plays" was to stop thinking of them as reviews, so I'm emphasizing that.

And video games have their own weird micro genres which are then parodied. And I haven't quite categorized it all in terms of genre, but there are people who do Let's Plays of just the same game over and over, like Minecraft or WoW, while other people will do new games all the time. Some will try to do like a MST3K over it, some will play frustrating games and yell and get angry, some will play horror games so they can get scared.

At this point it's over since Youtube changed how video replies are handled, but for a time there were "reply girls" that would reply to popular videos.

Big pop culture stuff like movie trailers always attract "reaction" videos. There are probably a bunch out now of people watching the new Star Wars trailer.
posted by RobotHero at 2:59 PM on December 3, 2014

The subculture of really young kids with their own channels. My youngest just turned six and has been filming and uploading her videos all by herself for several years after seeing her seven year old brother do it. Mostly unboxing vids, btw. Not unusual to have your own channel at a young age now.
posted by saucysault at 3:31 PM on December 3, 2014

autotune the news is pretty stinkin awesome (the gregory brothers).

housewife vlogs are a thing. mommy vlogs are a thing. guru gossip is a thing (where we all snark about popular youtubers and REALLY enjoy it).

and kids today reacting to, like, a rotary phone.
posted by Ms Vegetable at 4:30 PM on December 3, 2014

Finally! A question I feel qualified to answer.

So I'd say the biggest "trend" is YouTubers as a whole. These are people who make their living making YouTube videos. Here are a few of my favourites:

Schmoyoho (Songify/Autotune the News, the project by The Gregory Brothers) is fantastic, and I actually have their most recent video, Scoreboard, stuck in my head. Amazing shit.

Also, Ms Vegetable mentioned Kids React, which is The Fine Bros. They do a monthly recap of YouTube news that is amazing.

John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars (and lots of other great books) is half of the Vlogbrothers, where he and his brother started doing a daily video blog in 2007, and continue to post videos twice a week. Their fan community is mostly young, but is pretty amazing. They founded the Project For Awesome, which is a charity project that launches on December 12-13 and tries to take over YouTube for charity.

There's Crash Course, a channel trying to teach the world for free. They have psychology, world/US history, lots of science, literature, etc. This is a Green brothers project too. Oh, and SciShow, Sexplanations, HealthCareTriage, Mental Floss, BrainScoop...and probably others I can't remember.

Wheezy Waiter is another of my favourite creators. He does lots of original songs and comedy, and is pretty awesome.

There's also the founding video blogger, Ze Frank. His channel has some of my favourite things in the world - Sad Cat Diary, Invocation for Beginners, True Facts...etc.

ViHart makes amazing math videos that make me want to study math again. She also makes my teenage students want to study math. That's pretty amazing.

You should definitely watch Pewdiepie at least once. Happy Wheels is a good place to start.

Something I did when I was getting really into YouTube was to check out the most subscribed channels. It's interesting that most are gamers or YouTubers who make videos as a career.

Hopefully that helps...
posted by guster4lovers at 5:25 PM on December 3, 2014 [3 favorites]

- Videos on organizing and using paper planners
- Alejandra.tv videos on storage and organization
posted by jgirl at 6:05 PM on December 3, 2014

I'm fond of the work of Khameleon808.
posted by doctor tough love at 6:11 PM on December 3, 2014

Oh yeah, also the Miku Miku Dance videos, don't forget them. They are fun for Everybody.
posted by RobotHero at 6:21 PM on December 3, 2014

Kids seem to love watching other people play video games. That is a huge thing on YouTube and a popular channel I know is this guy. I frankly don't get it. It's not like he says anything very witty or clever. He just makes weird noises. I imagine his target audience is high school and younger.

Unboxing videos are another thing I don't quit understand. I have looked at maybe one because I wanted to know if the item came with a cable I wanted and I couldn't tell otherwise. But unboxing videos are literally just people vicariously enjoying other people buy stuff.

One thing I stumbled upon accidentally that was so weird and then I realized was "a thing" was something called "animash." People do videos from animated animal films to music. I guess it's a step away from the montage videos people do of their favorite TV/movie couples where they set clips of the couple to music, but I thought it was really strange. It would be like clips of Disney movies set to music.

There's also, of course, the YouTube stars who have "made it." I have loosely followed YouTube but not really -- it's a very insular form of entertainment where YouTube "stars" seem to team up a lot and there's a lot of discussion about actual YouTube. I guess people like watching YouTube stars everyday because they feel connected to them. Some examples that come to mind:

Hannah Hart has a show where she would get drunk and make something (very badly) and now she has books/merch and quit her real job. I watched a video the other day where her guest was Lance Bass from N'Sync. (?!)

Another big YouTube account is Prank Vs. Prank, but the interesting this is they have a daily vlog called BF Vs. GF where every single day, they do a video about what they did that day. They have a huge following and both have quit their jobs too because they earn so much from YouTube.

I remember this kid from when he'd dance like crazy in Apple stores (the videos were hilarious and he was like 13) and now he makes his own dance music that I think actually charted on iTunes.

A guy named KevJumba became a pretty big YouTube star a while ago I guess and he was cast a while back on a season of the Amazing Race with his dad, who he'd feature in some videos.
posted by AppleTurnover at 7:07 PM on December 3, 2014

I'd say people who have an actual "television series" on youtube, like The misadventures of the awkward black girl. There are also several "reality-like" tv series on youtube.

Being a vlogger who talks about the country you live in (as stated above by Lyn Never) is also a big thing. Lots of bloggers who make videos about themselves talking about Japan.

There's also ghost hunting in youtube.
posted by Ms. Moonlight at 4:47 AM on December 4, 2014

Here's one that amazes me: Videos of people "play-testing" miniature cooking sets. Perhaps this is part of ASMR? Here's a link. And another. Blows my mind and is also kind of fascinating to watch.
posted by good day merlock at 11:17 AM on December 4, 2014

There's a rather sizable and incredibly dedicated community obsessed with flash lights on YouTube. The website CandlePowerForums feature delightfully in depth reviews (which almost always feature a Youtube video) on everything from LEDs to batteries to electrical engineering to modifying flashlights to be mind blowingly bright. It's kind of intimidating at first because it can be rather technical, but the care and consideration these folks put into flashlights is nothing short of incredible.
posted by ghostpony at 6:15 PM on December 4, 2014

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