Free YouNow Fans Bars – http://younow.hackthis.us
Free YouNow Fans Bars
In the summer of 2014, Zach created an account on YouNow, an app where users can broadcast themselves live on video to a crowd of faceless viewers or else duck under an anonymous screen name and join the crowd. The moment he discovered Free YouNow Fans Bars, Zach told me recently, “everything started clicking.”
Amanda Hess is a David Carr fellow at the New York Times. Follow her on Twitter.
Today 510,000 people follow Zach’s YouNow handle @BruhItsZach. A core group of supporters will stay glued to the feed until Zach shuts it down, then disperse across his other social media pages and wait for the next tweet or Snapchat or Instagram like to bubble to the surface. On Zach’s official website, supporters can buy T-shirts that say “My Hero Wears a Bucket Hat” or signed posters of Zach striking a Tiger Beat pose.
When Zach’s mother, Apryll Priest, first discovered that her teenage son was broadcasting live from his bedroom, “I kind of freaked out a little bit,” she told me. “For most of his life, Zach struggled with being, you know, not liked well,” Priest says. And even when the broadcast ended, “Zach had way better self-esteem.
YouNow founder Adi Sideman had been tinkering in what he calls “the user-generated video space” for 15 years when everything started clicking for him. After getting a master’s degree from New York University in interactive telecommunications, Sideman launched a series of entertaining but trivial Web games: “create your own car commercial, create your own ringtone, remix your own songs,” stuff like that. He launched YouNow in 2011.
Zach’s fans can read X-rated fan fiction with titles like BruhItsZach, Under the Sheets; Pregnant By Zach Clayton; and Zachs Toes.
In theory, YouNow sounds a bit like Twitter’s real-time video feature, Periscope. On YouNow, you don’t see what the broadcaster sees– you see the broadcaster himself. YouNow broadcasts compete for the attention of the entire social network through a roiling leaderboard tacked to the side of the screen.
Summer of 2014
In the summer of 2014, just as Zach was catching on, traffic to YouNow spiked from 10 million visits a month to 100 million. Now, YouNow says it records 150,000 broadcasts a day and 100 million user logins a month. There are no ads, but last year, YouNow launched a partnership program that allows for choice broadcasters to earn money through a series of cutesy processes built into YouNow’s cartoonish monetary system: Viewers use real money to buy YouNow bars, which can be tossed into a broadcaster’s virtual tip jar or spent on a suite of virtual “gifts,” like a superpowerful thumbs up (which helps vault the broadcast up the leaderboard) or a piece of heart-shaped fan mail (it unfolds on screen with much animated fanfare).
Free YouNow Fans Bars says $1.5 million passes through the site’s tip jars every month and that it pays out over 50 percent of that to the partners who raised the money. (Zach’s mom Priest confirms that Zach gets this cut, though she won’t say how much he makes. And that’s not the only cash coming in: In October, investors gave YouNow $15 million in venture capital funding.
The whole site is designed to create personalities and foster fandoms around them.
Elite Free YouNow Fans Bars flex quick social reflexes, polished improv skills, a knack for summoning audience participation, and an ability to radiate compassion out to a vast, faceless crowd. Sideman offers some suggestions: “Engage an audience, have a big fan base, be able to activate an audience, be interactive, provide great interactive entertainment.
Everything happens faster on YouNow, including getting big. On a mature platform like YouTube, incumbents are too firmly entrenched at the top of the charts to be easily toppled by an upstart sensation. On YouNow, “a person can start broadcasting and quite immediately get discovered,” Sideman says. “It’s almost like we’re on hypertime.” Zach is certainly moving at that speed. On a typical broadcast, Zach’s voice dips in and out of exaggerated lisps and blaccents and Cockney dialects as his train of thought ricochets between inside jokes and non sequiturs and sincere expressions of supporter-love and self-conscious little asides and this one-line song he sings all of the time– all of the time– which goes, in its entirety, “let me suck your titties, babyyyyy!”
It gets better…
There are more where he came from. Last year, a handful of young men came upon YouNow almost by accident, pulled in from a friend’s Instagram comment or enticed by a tweet ticking down a screen. Once they started broadcasting, they felt at home on the feed. As the guys climbed Free YouNow Fans Bars leaderboard, one by one by one, they started crossing paths on social media, clicking into each others’ streams, feeling out each others’ vibes, and texting nonstop across the country. Last fall, five of them officially banded together as Free YouNow Fans Bars first broadcasting squad. Joining Zach are Timmy Connors (17, a crooner of earnest pop covers with a lip ring and a pastel dye job– 182,000 YouNow followers); Nick Bean (20, a dimpled North Carolinian who records topical rap tracks like his recent jam “Netflix & Chill”– 361,000 followers); Edwin Burgos (17, an insatiably silly lip-syncer on broadcast and a master of the sad-centerfold look on Instagram– 189,000 followers); and Rudan Custodio (21, expertly ripped, plays the ukulele– 346,000 followers). Together they call themselves “5quad,” and they’re kind of like a boy band without the music. All the boys “have the good personality that everyone likes,” Hannah, a 19-year-old supporter from Michigan, told me. “They’re always happy, and if they’re not happy, they make themselves happy,” and that makes Hannah happy. “The 5quad guys can do anything,” the group’s talent manager, Herbert “Dooney” Battle, told me. “They could put out a CD and not sing. And people would buy it.”
When Dooney first stumbled onto Zach’s corner of the Internet last spring, he ‘d managed “influencers” like 6-year-old Vine jester Lil TerRio and discount-aisle dreamboat Alex From Target, but he ‘d never seen anything quite like the 14-year-old in the bucket hat. When it comes to fan engagement– the number of RTs, likes, and comments the guys rack up, tweet for tweet– Zach’s metrics blow Alex out of the water. Zach’s fans are simply more obsessed.
It’s not just boys: YouNow accommodates a variety pack of talents. There’s SnowMarite, a 21-year-old Latvian artist who draws fantastical nature scenes with brilliantly-colored ballpoints; Mr. Cashier, who started broadcasting from a Brooklyn bodega and now makes more online than he ever did behind the counter; and British singer-songwriter Emma McGann, who goes live to sing impromptu ditties for her fams, show off her pet pug, and counsel aspiring YouNow stars about how she got her start on the platform. (Even Zach’s mom has gotten in on it: Her own channel, @BruhItsZachsMom, has amassed more than 96,000 followers, most of them 5quad fans looking for yet another digital outlet for obsessing over the guys.) “It doesn’t matter how you get your following,” 5quad’s Custodio says. “Once you get it, you can do anything.” Custodio believes YouNow has spun the old celebrity trajectory on its head. Like: “Right now, I’m not about trying to get cast in some movie,” Custodio told me. “I’m about building my image. Because when you build an image, you get put in movies.”
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A Free YouNow Fans Bars broadcaster has yet to jump from the leaderboard to the Hollywood A-list. Social media stars borne of more established platforms are still busy building inroads to traditional media by way of book projects, live tours, and direct-to-digital features like the teen comedies Camp Takota (featuring YouTube comediennes Grace Helbig and Hanna Hart) and Expelled (a vehicle for Vine heartthrob Cameron Dallas). Reality television is more welcoming: The Amazing Race cast its latest season with 22 social media stars, and America’s Got Talent is now holding some auditions directly on YouNow.