As the world ushers in the new millennium, it also brings along a series of noticeable development especially in the field of technology. One of them is the introduction of Web 2.0 that has kicked off a multitude of newer platforms for communication purposes (Tapscott & Williams, 2008). All these platforms have brought the world closer together by erasing any physical boundaries. Its usage is not restricted to only individuals but companies and governments are also taking advantage of these Web 2.0 platforms. Arguably, one of the biggest player and front runners is YouTube (Tapscott & Williams, 2008). Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to look at how YouTube has changed the way people communicate and collaborate. To answer this question, this essay will explain briefly the concept behind YouTube. Then, this essay is also going to discuss how YouTube interacts with other Web 2.0 technologies. Finally, it will analyze how YouTube has changed the way people communicate and collaborate.
A brief concept of YouTube
YouTube is a company started in 2005 by three IT entrepreneurs (Costigan & Perry, 2012). In 2006, it is purchased by Google and has been running as a part of the company till date (Costigan & Perry, 2012). YouTube is a website that enables users to share videos by uploading or downloading these clips through the usage of Adobe Flash Video and HTML 5 technology (Shelly & Frydenberg, 2010). Although the majority of the video contents are uploaded by individuals, major corporations like CBS, Hulu, BBC and VEVO are also making use of this site to make some of their materials available to the public via a partnership program (Shelly & Frydenberg, 2010). In early 2012, it is reported that about four billion videos are streamed from this website daily.
YouTube interaction with other Web 2.0 technologies
In 2010, YouTube has launched a new design that makes it easier for users to interact with other Web 2.0 technologies (Kock, 2012). One of the most notable features is the ability to share any video contents with other social networking as well as blogging sites such as Twitter, MySpace, Facebook, Blogger and Tumblr (Kock, 2012). Recently, after the launching of Google+ in 2011, YouTube is integrated directly into Google+ and Google Chrome browser (Lastufka & Dean, 2008). This means users have the ability to view and search for any YouTube videos from the interface of these sites. Besides that, video streaming is also accessible for selected smartphones after their introduction of YouTube Mobile in 2007 (Kock, 2012).
How YouTube has changed the way people communicate and collaborate
Its ability to allow users to upload video contents has managed to change the way people communicate and collaborate because this creates a situation whereby relationships and experiences are deemed impossible before the existence of YouTube.
One of the most popular types of video that has changed the way people communicate is video logging (Lastufka & Dean, 2008). It is almost similar to blogging except video logging allows the author to share their experiences and hobbies to the public using a video format. This eliminates a number of restrictions caused by the usage of a written text. With video logging, anyone who has access to the Internet can make their own videos and upload them onto this website. In fact, many have used YouTube as a platform in order to gain popularity and become household names (Blossom, 2011). One good example is Ray William Johnson who rose to stardom by posting comedy video logs. Apart from that, both, Justin Bieber and Rebecca Black, have also reached celebrity status by sharing their homemade music videos on YouTube. With millions and billions of viewers, YouTube has paved a pathway for amateur singers, directors, comedians and musicians to showcase their talents (Blossom, 2011). This Web 2.0 platform redefines how new talent is communicated to the general public. The old fashion way of searching for talent is time consuming and confine to those who can pull the right strings. YouTube has changed all that and one only needs to make use of this new platform in order to rise to fame.
YouTube has also proven itself as a new platform for worldwide news. This can be seen when breaking news is captured by individuals using mobile or video cameras and these footages are uploaded on YouTube (Francq, 2010). Normally, they are taken by those who are accidentally on the scene like the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan. One can find many videos of this natural disaster unfold in front of their eyes. Besides that, raw footages of war from Afghanistan and Iraq can also be found on YouTube. This new platform has enabled anyone to become a reporter and share news that may interest the world (Francq, 2010). Before YouTube, news is, generally, broadcasted on television networks and interviews are carried out by reporters. Their account may not be complete or even edited before being aired on the television (Lastufka & Dean, 2008). YouTube has changed the way news is communicated to the public. Raw and unedited videos on breaking news allow the public to form their own opinions and judgment. Aside from that, these amateur videos are more often than not quicker than news that is broadcasted on a television network and thus, alerting the public faster than ever before (Costigan & Perry, 2012). With the ability to share on social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook, the public is able to watch the unfolding of events by the minutes as if in real life.
Recently, many business organizations have taken advantage on the popularity of YouTube to promote their products and services (Thomas & Wasmund, 2011). YouTube has boasted a huge number of audiences, claiming about 2 billion videos being streamed per day. It is no wonder YouTube has become one of the emerging trends of advertising for businesses (Ihlen, Bartlett, & May, 2011). Previously, advertisements can only be done through television or movie theatres. This can be expensive, time consuming and lack of audience targeting (Thomas & Wasmund, 2011). YouTube has broken all those limitations. Firstly, business organizations only need to pay when users watch their advertisements. Besides that, YouTube also allows businesses to advertise based on their target audience (Ihlen, Bartlett, & May, 2011). For example, a company that is selling sports equipment can choose to advertise their products and services on videos concerning to sports. This way of targeted advertising is almost impossible before YouTube.
YouTube has also transformed the world’s education scene. Conventional ways such as listening to mentors, books or attending classes are no longer seen as the only resources for one to pursue an education (Rogers, 2009). There are countless of how-to, documentary and instructional videos ranging from any topics under skies can be found on YouTube. Videos make it more interesting and visual to captivate the students’ attention in learning new skills and knowledge. Apart from that, YouTube has also allowed anyone who has deep, profound knowledge on any subject to become an educator (Rogers, 2009). They can create videos and upload them onto this site in order to share their expertise as well as knowledge of the subject matter in order to help other people. Since anybody can be an educator, YouTube has also transformed education into a much quicker pace. Information can be spread wider across the globe and as a result, this will create a more informed world or society.
Web 2.0 platforms have definitely shaped how people communicate and collaborate in an enormous way. Digital content sharing and social networking has made traditional communication mediums seem like nothing. YouTube is beyond any doubt one of the platforms that enables users to share their thoughts and experiences in a new, better and quicker method. Individuals can upload videos showcasing their personal talents and use the website as a platform to jumpstart a new career. Besides that, business organizations can also make use of YouTube to garner more viewership and popularity in order to promote their products and services. Furthermore, YouTube has also managed to transform the way news and educations are presented to the general public. All in all, YouTube as a part of Web 2.0 technologies has introduced a new way of communication and collaboration through content as well as information sharing. Almost a decade ago, this may seem impossible. However, Web 2.0 technologies has make this happened and it is growing in popularity and function day by day.
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