United States

Creativity, Fame and Money Lure Hundreds of Children to YouTube, Online Stardom

With online celebrities popping up almost overnight on platforms like Instagram and YouTube, it may not be surprising to learn that youngsters are looking to get in on the burgeoning career. 

From 15-year-old Russell Horning — a.k.a Backpack Kid — drawing laughs during his appearance on Saturday Night Live to 9-year-old A.J. Heinicke, from San Mateo, showing off motorcycle stunts on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," kids are gaining national attention through a variety of Silicon Valley-based platforms.

First Choice, a British vacation company, decided to see how its youth weighed online careers in comparison to traditional professions like becoming a doctor or actor.

Silicon Valley's influence was apparent in its survey of 1,000 kids around the United Kingdom. The surveyed kids overwhelming favored online fame and more than one-third of them specifically aspired to YouTube stardom.

Just over 11 percent of the children said that fame is the main reason for their choice, but the most common reason was the ability to "create cool content." Children also counted self-expression, travel and earnings among their inspirations.

Since its founding in 2005, San Bruno-based YouTube has expanded its reach to 95 percent of the world’s internet population, spanning 88 countries and 76 languages. According to the company, it now boasts more than one billion users and a larger viewership than any television network in the United States.

Top Career Choices in Surveyed Kids:

  1. YouTuber – 34.20%
  2. Blogger/Vlogger – 18.10%
  3. Musician/Singer – 16%
  4. Actor – 15.7%
  5. Film Maker – 13.6%
  6. Doctor/Nurse – 13.4%
  7. TV Presenter – 12.4%
  8. Athlete/Teacher – 11.9% 
  9. Writer – 8.4%
  10. Lawyer – 6.4%
First Choice, a British vacation company, 
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