Let’s talk YouTube for a second.
I am an avid fan of YouTube. It has replaced television channels in my life. Not to mention my addiction to beauty channels, it’s almost unhealthy. I watch them religiously and follow massive amounts of beauty Youtubers. After years of watching beauty videos, watching the market get more and more saturated, I realised that slowly I have been unsubscribing to more channels than I am subscribing to new channels.
“YOUTUBE IS BROKEN” was a major headline that went viral.
Apparently, people have been unsubscribed to channels and there has been a general decline in views. While, I do believe that YouTube has been tinkering things around without communicating the changes they have applied, I also believe that people are unsubscribing actively. Or perhaps auto unsubscribing to channels where you are a dormant subscriber.
I too realise that I have not been watching as many beauty videos as I used to.
Because it’s ALL THE SAME.
This argument has been going on for ages. People hate sponsorships because it destroys the credibility of a YouTuber. At the same time, some sponsorships come from genuine love of the products being advertised. Ultimately, they are paid to say the things that they say. And this tarnishes the integrity of the YouTuber, even though the viewer is aware that this is their job.
My preference was to simply skip sponsored videos altogether. While it is easy with UK YouTubers that indicate their sponsorships with a #AD on the title, it’s tougher to distinguish with other YouTubers.
The worst parts about sponsorships are the scripted dialog and the giant infestation that appears in your subscription box, because the videos are scheduled to be released around the same time. Furthermore, big companies would reach out to several influencers all at once. Next thing you know, your subscription box is filled with “so-and-so” lipstick or some random hair tool.
Even if the video is not technically “sponsored”, more often than not large beauty companies will send out free PR packages containing the products they want to promote for these YouTubers to try. We are talking GIANT boxes filled to the brim with products. More than any one person can fathom to use to its entirety before it goes bad. Most of the time, they use these PR products for giveaways.
Most of these PR packages are sent out all at once to a plethora of influencers. So in certain portions of the year, you get a bunch of YouTubers mentioning the same products again and again because it is a new product they were sent. Therefore, even if the companies are not officially sponsoring these YouTubers, because they are all sent the same batches of products from companies, eventually they end up talking about the same products.
It’s inevitable. And incredibly boring.
On top of that, subscribers have the expectations that these YouTubers always have their hands on the pulse of the beauty community. Hence, these influencers are constantly talking about whatever’s new. Whatever it is that they were raving about 4 months ago is conveniently forgotten to make room for newer things. It is exactly what the large beauty companies want. They want you to keep buying and buying anything that’s new.
It cultivates a wasteful culture, which I had fallen prey to myself. I lose interest in products quickly and move on to new things faster than I can actually finish one. It’s horrible! It’s wasteful to the environment and it’s wasteful to my wallet. Whatever product is hyped at the moment is THE thing I want to get my hands on, completely disregarding the copious amounts of stuff I still have yet to use up.
Therefore, essentially, the videos are constantly about whatever’s new at the time. YouTubers are hardly talking about the older products again and again even if they are their tried and true. They will mention one or two offhand but these videos matter less than ones involving new things. It leads to perfectly good items being discontinued and overlooked. The companies also churn out product after product, launching something new every other week, in order to stay relevant and in the spotlight.
My rant is tapering to an end. I was just overwhelmed with a sudden wave of anger and annoyance as I was trying to find something to watch on YouTube. The videos that started out as a friend recommending products to other people became an advertising platform. So much so that majority of the videos currently are paid in some form or other.
Nothing is genuine anymore.
There is no difference between watching a youtube “Get Ready With Me” video and a full-blown ad on the telly.
For those who are looking for integrity, look for smaller YouTubers that don’t try to emulate the “popular crowd” too much. For solid beauty recommendations, go for Emily Noel’s, she has never done a sponsored video in all her years on YouTube. Stephanie Nicole is also infamous for her scathingly honest review. As for skincare, I love Gothamista’s videos as they are filled with information and honest recommendations.
What do you think about the current state of YouTube?
Ultimately, I will probably stray away from YouTube, beauty-wise. I am going to be focusing on using up the stuff I have now and forming my own opinions on things. YouTube is in dire need of originality. If I want to see paid posts, I might as well opt for Vogue.
I certainly agree with you on your views about YouTube and the beauty gurus. I have watched many beauty gurus who just promote a product due to sponsorship. Great post