Remember when you’d accidentally open the web browser on your Nokia flip phone, and frantically attempted to close it as quickly as possible, otherwise you’d be charged by the minute? Those days seem so far away considering how much time we spend daily surfing the web on our smartphones. For these digital content creators, they’ve found a way to charge per view.
GloZell Green was one of the first professional YouTubers during the early days of social media. “The early days of YouTube was the wild, wild west,” she says. “You had just the people who were really serious about their craft.”
With over 2,000 YouTube videos, GloZell has stood the test of time navigating through the intensely competitive, and expansive world of YouTube.
GloZell became a household name after she participated in the 2012 “Cinnamon Challenge,” a viral video challenge where people would ingest copious amounts of raw cinnamon powder.
“When I put the cinnamon in my mouth, it was instant. I was like, “Oh, I get it. I’m about to die,” she says. Her video now has over 58 million views on YouTube, holding its place as her channel’s most viewed video. “It was one of the greatest and dumbest things I’ve ever done.”
In that same fashion, other users have shown that ingesting bizarre foods and drinks can gain them similar amounts of success.
Brittany Broski’s online career started by accident. A casual review of kombucha tea, posted on TikTok, went viral with now more than 15.3 million views. “I went viral at a very opportunistic time,” she says. “Because the video was watermarked with the TikTok logo, people were like, 'What is TikTok?' So, we kind of grew together.”
TikTok was originally named Musical.ly, a platform where users created and shared short lip-sync videos. While much of the content has remained the same, TikTok’s growth has nearly outperformed YouTube. YouTube has an estimated two billion monthly users, while TikTok's most recent data reveals it had about 700 million in mid-2020.
Still utilizing every corner of social media, Broski now hosts a YouTube channel with nearly 1 million subscribers. Her videos range from 1970’s-inspired hair tutorials, to adventures at Medieval Times with her closest friends.
Making money on YouTube generally comes in two ways; Google AdSense revenue, or branded/sponsored content. “It’s algorithmic, or certain brands will sponsor you to make a video for them that you post on your channel,” Broski explains.
“People know me as Brittany Broski, because I’ve built this brand for myself,” she says. “When you are online, you are subject to the opinions of the 15 year old girls that run online culture.”