Online Social Media: YouTube Essay

Online Social Media: YouTube Essay

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Mass communications have evolved over the years, especially in social media. The public sphere relies on social media as an informational channel, business growth, and peer-to-peer connection. One of the trends that continued to prosper is YouTube, an online social media video platform. As Benkler states “social production is a fact, not a fad. It is a critical long term shift caused by the Internet” (2005). This paper will review the current state, evolution, development, and implications of YouTube as it relates to individuals, society, and the public sphere.
YouTube Overview
YouTube is an example of a social phenomenon that Benkler (2005) discusses regarding free and open source software offering new opportunities through peer-to-peer networks. It offers a platform for people to be heard and connect with peers, organizations, and businesses. As Newkirk & Forker (2007) notes, it was voted “invention of the year in 2006” by Time magazine. YouTube relates to the convergence culture that McQuail (2010) reviews. The convergence culture relates to new technology and media trends allowing professional and amateur public interaction during intermixing work, life and play (McQuail, 2010). YouTube provides a platform to inspire, educate, and empower its users.
Current State
According to the YouTube (2014) viewership statistics, more than one billion unique users visit monthly and 80% of the traffic comes from outside of the United States. Since surfacing in 2005, YouTube is one of the most visited websites behind Google and Facebook (Cayari, 2011). Currently, YouTube (2014) statistics shows that over 100 hours of video are uploaded every minute and six billion hours are watched each month.
The YouTube media authors focu...

... middle of paper ...

Google. (n.d.). YouTube5year: A brief history of YouTube. Retrieved from
Newkirk, C. D., & Forker, T. A. (2007). Does YouTube’s bright past mean a cloudy future?. Intellectual property & technology law journal, 19(1), 1-6.
Steinberg, J. (2012). YouTube's success continues as it is now a major news source. Seeking alpha. Retrieved from
YouTube. (2014). Retrieved from
Zimmerman, J. (2008). The google-youtube deal. IT business edge. Retrieved from

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