It seems like, with every year that passes, YouTube becomes more and more of a force to be reckoned with. Plenty of personalities graduate from the online video platform to books, television, film, and podcasting. While we loved our daily vloggers, we had to give props to the creators who accomplished a whole lot in 2015.
2015 was a huge year for Tyler Oakley. He spoke to fans through his YouTube channel, regularly updated his podcast, Psychobabble, and released his intensely honest and well received book of personal essays, Binge. It was also the year he met Michelle Obama and received multiple Teen Choice Awards. Tyler talked openly about LGBTQ issues in almost all his projects and has done an amazing job of sharing his own experiences to help others. Tyler's career is on the up and up and, with over 7 million followers, Tyler sharing his experiences as an openly gay man was hugely important for visibility this year.
Lilly absolutely crushed 2015. Not only did she go on a huge world tour, she was named by Forbes as one of the highest earning YouTube stars of 2015, she got to interview Selena Gomez, and she has been a trailblazer for YouTubers of colour. She brings in her own experiences growing up as an ethnic minority and combines that with a sense of humour that is universally relatable. Singh started her channel in 2010, in part, because she felt like there weren't enough creators of colour. Now, in 2015, she is one of highest paid poc on the entire site and it seems like she can only go up from here.
JacksGap was started in 2011 by twins Finn and Jack Harries. Their YouTube personas have taken on many forms over the years but they seem to have wedged themselves into an interesting little niche of travel and culture vlogging. We're not opposed to vloggers running down to Superdrug for the latest cosmetics but, we have to admit, a vlog is way more exciting when it's taking place in Hong Kong, underwater with sharks, or highlighting the important issue of climate change. Jack and Finn transformed themselves from daily vloggers into bonafide film makers and they've done and amazing job.
Beauty YouTuber, Ingrid Nilsen certainly had one of the most talked about videos of 2015. In June of this year, the California native uploaded a video to her YouTube channel titled "Something I Want You To Know (Coming Out)" . In the video she is seen becoming visibly emotional about coming out to her followers. "This moment is real, and it's here. And I've been waiting for this a long time," she says at one point. Ingrid's confession took a lot of bravery but she set an amazing example to her millions of followers that, to be happy, you have to try your hardest to be yourself. Whether or not it was in line with her "brand", Ingrid made an amazing decision for herself.
Rikki Poynter, YouTube personality and hard of hearing campaigner, began a steady climb in popularity at the tail end of 2014. She posted a Q&A about being deaf/hard of hearing, and she received a bump in notoriety when Tyler Oakley acknowledged a cause she was extremely passionate about: closed captions on YouTube. Over the last year, she has made more content about being deaf, kept up her crusade to have videos captioned for the hard of hearing, and shared a unique perspective of the world via her videos. She's working to make YouTube a more inclusive place and that's pretty amazing in our book.