Show of hands. Who just had an insatiable urge to find out what PewDiePie admitted to after reading that click baity headline? Well, we knew you would and PewDiePie knows that too.
By now, most of us will know that YouTube creator, commentator, and author PewDiePie is the most successful personality on the platform. It's been a few years since he became such a prominent voice on YT but, since then, he has (ironically) become one of the leading critics of YouTube culture.
His very funny and very apt assessment of YouTube "drama culture" created quite a bit of "drama" in itself. But his latest bit of commentary is right on the money when it comes to YouTube's clickbait epidemic.
In a video entitled "YOU WON'T BELIEVE THIS CLICK BAIT", Pewds really breaks down the plague that is click bait culture.
Notable quotes include "If you don't do [clickbaiting] then you're not going to get views" and "YouTube is really unfair". Buuuuuurn.
Of course, PewDiePie has a point. Actually, he has a huge point. YouTube has transformed itself from basic video sharing platform to an extension of the media itself. It's a news source, an entertainment platform, and a learning resource all in one.
But, unlike television or general media, every YouTube creator is competing for clicks from the same pool of users. Creators are fighting to gain the attention of not just their subscribers or regular viewers. They want the new subscribers, the casual watchers, and the SEO referrals. They want it all.
While PewDiePie's message is spot on, people are quick to point out that Pewds' own content is littered with instances of click bait.
annoyed how pewdiepie is calling out @tanamongeau and other youtubers for click bait when he literally uses it all the time??? smh— freya (@lmfaotana) June 27, 2016
Its funny how @pewdiepie mad a video about click bait but I can look at the fist page of his video's and find 5 or more click bait titles.— Vendetta (@Vendettahh) June 28, 2016
Okay, so the messenger is...imperfect. But I think we can all agree that this practice is the scourge of the internet. Pewds pulls out a few prominent examples like our faves, Superfruit as well as controversial creator, Keemstar. Neither accounts have responded to PewDiePie's critique.
So, what are we going to do about the click bait problem?
Well, that's where Pewds falls a bit short. He doesn't offer any real solution and admits that click bait = views. And, as well all know, views are the key to unlocking a YouTube career and, to be honest, you can't fault people for doing all they can to support themselves.
The nature of YouTube is such that, you either need to half ass it and keep a day job, or go all in an pour your heart and soul into the YouTube game. Unfortunately, the latter means creators might have to stoop to click baiting their subscribers. Is it ideal? No. Is it a reality? Definitely.
For now, as PewDiePie suggests, creators can simply try their hardest not to get caught up in the click bait hype. As he suggests, if YouTubers simply stop, they can help create a space for higher quality content. And, that's essentially what we all want. Right?
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