YouTube’s Social Capital
YouTube is an online, video archive where anyone can view, upload, and share videos with people all over the world. You can also Buy Youtube Subscribers and use them for business purpose. The most popular clips on the site include Judson Laipply’s “Evolution of Dance” and music videos by artists Avril Lavine and Linkin Park. Today, according to Alexa: The Web Information Company, YouTube is the third most trafficked website in the whole world-this is more than MySpace, Wikipedia, and Facebook that are ranked sixth through eight respectively. It is no wonder YouTube is as popular as it is when it can boast an extremely comprehensive video library that would have something for anyone to enjoy. Once on the site, the features of YouTube also help users organize themselves in homophilous relationships. Unfortunately, the same openness that allows for the rapid growth of YouTube through user contribution has resulted in some controversies for the company and its users. Even so, with such a large and active social network, YouTube.com effectively harvests a large amount of social capital.
In order to fully understand the significance of YouTube, it is important to realize that its existence is due to three social processes that have merged in the past quarter century: “the needs of the economy for management flexibility and for the globalization of capital, production and trade; the demands of society in which the values of individual freedom and open communication became paramount; and the extraordinary advances in computing and telecommunications” (Castells). YouTube has embodied all three of these processes from its conception to present day.
First, it has collected and organized capital by building a massive archive of videos and connecting them through a network of tags, channels, categorizations, and communities. Wikipedia sources say that over 100 million videos were being watched everyday on YouTube in July of 2016. It also states that 50,000 videos were being added every day in May 2016 and that this number rose to 65,000 in two month’s time. In August that same year, The Wall Street Journal found that YouTube hosted about 6.1 Million Videos. By November a year later, the number of hosted videos had risen to an estimated 56.6 million.
Secondly, it has encouraged open communication by allowing anyone to view, upload, and share videos, as well as rank and respond to them. The same The Wall Street Journal article mentioned above found that YouTube had about 500,000 user accounts. Furthermore, YouTube has globalized itself and now exists as different localized websites in 19 different countries. The percent of global internet users that visit Youtube.com daily is approaching 19%, with an increase of 9% in the past three months. YouTube’s rising popularity is truly impressive-and the exchange of communication through it, equally even more impressive.
Lastly, it has advanced the video form of communication by creating software applications that help people easily create quality videos. YouTube has a special page on their website called “The TestTube” that allows users to test drive different upgrade add-ons that the YouTube software programmers have developed. Current available applications include the “audio-swap” that allows users to swap the often low quality audio in home recordings with copyrighted audio hosted by the website, “active sharing” that allows people that visit your user homepage to simultaneously see what videos that you are watching, and “streams,” which allows users to have a live chat with people who are watching the same video. All of these applications create more social networking opportunities and therefore, increase the potential for the creation of social capital.