For the last few years, YouTube has been suffering a burnout epidemic. Top YouTubers feel compelled to make nonstop videos for an ever-hungry audience, afraid to take breaks for fear of losing momentum, or worse, being reprimanded by the algorithm that decides what videos people see. While the company claims to want to alleviate burnout on the platform, most of its “help” has amounted to empty PR and unhelpful data. In short, the platform’s lifeblood is suffering, and YouTube’s response to the crisis has been terrible. Making a living as a YouTuber isn’t easy: videos are a time-consuming endeavor, and many creators like to handle every aspect of production by themselves. And because the product isn’t simply footage, but a personality, as well, it is not enough to simply create a compelling video. YouTubers have to create a sense of upbeat intimacy that makes viewers feel like their friends, and the emotional labor of always having to be “on” makes creators feel like they have to flatten their humanity to make it on the platform. Once a video is up, creators are expected to continue to engage viewers via comments, social media, live streams, and more — only to start the process all over again the next day, and the next day, and the next. Beyond the taxing nature of producing content, YouTubers are at the mercy of a platform they do not fully understand. Sometimes, videos will explode on the platform, but more often than not, they’ll be demonetized,… [Read full story]
The Verge is an ambitious multimedia effort founded in 2011 to examine how technology will change life in the future for a massive mainstream audience.
Our original editorial insight was that technology had migrated from the far fringes of the culture to the absolute center as mobile technology created a new generation of digital consumers. Now, we live in a dazzling world of screens that has ushered in revolutions in media, transportation, and science. The future is arriving faster than ever.