Social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic has pushed people to try and connect using social media services. In that context, “with me” videos have recently seen a boom in viewership on YouTube.
“With me” videos first started appearing on YouTube in 2007 but wasn’t a big deal until 2010. It mainly includes creators doing everyday tasks – going to school, getting ready and choosing their outfits, preparing breakfast, etc. The idea behind this was that people can connect with their favorite creators while both of them did their own routine. It is a way to probably get over loneliness and feel connected. By 2014, “with me” videos started focusing more on productivity, including “study with me” and “journal with me”. By last year, “paint with me” also became a part of the format.
With the recent lockdowns everywhere due to the coronavirus pandemic, these videos have become a place of solace for people, who are trying to do something to entertain themselves.
YouTube has stated that daily views of videos with “#withme” in the title have increased by 600% since March 15 compared to the rest of the year. Additionally, uploads of videos from creators with “at home” in the title have also increased by more than 590%. Among the varieties, “cook with me,” “work out at home” and “home office” have seen their daily views go up by 100, 200 and 130% respectively.
YouTube, on the other hand, has asked everyone to stay at home and are using the #StayHome. They also encouraged creators to participate in a mew “#WithMe” campaign to keep the viewers entertained. A number of creators are also asking their viewers to stay at home and socially distance themselves as the world tries to fight with the coronavirus. In addition to this, YouTube has also curated a number of “with me” playlists for people who want to do their everyday tasks with YouTube.
It’s a great way for the creators to stay connected as well, even if you’re just talking to a camera. However, it is not clear if these videos have seen a surge of revenue.
YouTube has described “with me” videos as being an opportunity for people to connect. This does explain why there is a sudden boom in their views and uploads right now. People stuck at home, with nothing much to do, need new ways to entertain themselves. On the other hand, YouTubers, who normally film outside their homes, are looking for interesting and fun ideas and ways to entertain their subscribers. That’s a match made in heaven right there.