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The Student News Site of High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering

The Echo

The Student News Site of High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering

The Echo

Did MrBeast Really Ruin YouTube?

MrBeast’s videos have cracked the YouTube algorithm, making them always go viral. This has led to loads of people copying his videos to try to emulate his success. Has the endless sea of people copying his style left YouTube a better or worse platform?
Art by Emily Dow

MrBeast is one of the most popular Youtubers in the world, with a staggering 205,000,000 subscribers as of October 30th, 2023. His rapid growth can be attributed to the constant evolution of his content, until he finally stuck with the over-the-top, expensive style of content that he makes today. Due to his videos’ success, many YouTubers essentially clone them and fill the YouTube feed with them in an attempt to take some of the spotlight for themselves. Will this trend of copying MrBeast’s content end up being good or bad for the platform?


Jimmy Donaldson, better known as MrBeast, created his Youtube account on February 19th, 2012 and posted his first video a day later. Although he wasn’t getting much traction at the time, he had a genuine passion for creating YouTube videos, and mainly did gameplay videos on Minecraft and Call of Duty. Two years later, he posted a video titled “How Much Money Does PewDiePie Make????? (Updated 2015)” which performed far better than any of his gaming videos. This gave MrBeast an idea of what type of content his viewers enjoyed, so he ran with it.


After the success of the PewDiePie video, he decided to milk this type of content for all its worth. Next was the CaptainSparklez net worth video, which was also a success. He continued to pump out these revenue videos, slowly losing viewership as he went. Notably, he made a video explaining YouTube’s analytics. This video is proof that MrBeast actively studied the YouTube algorithm and what type of videos would perform well on the platform. Over the next seven years, MrBeast used this knowledge to constantly improve his videos’ performance, which led to his first big video.


MrBeast’s “Counting to 10,000 in One Sitting” video, posted on January 8, 2017, pulled in an insane number views, sitting at 65,000,000 views as of October 30th, 2023. This was his most viewed video by a landslide, which signaled to him that he finally cracked the code to going viral on YouTube. His videos shifted toward using larger and larger numbers in order to make his titles and thumbnails interesting enough to catch people’s attention. Videos like “Watching Dance Till You’re Dead for 10 Hours” and “I Counted to 100,000” gained millions of views, numbers that MrBeast had never seen before. He eventually mixed in charity with these insane tasks, making videos like “Giving A Random Homeless Man $10,000” and “I Donated $30,000 To A Random Twitch Streamer.” MrBeast constantly has to one-up himself each video in order to keep his large audience entertained. The money that he’s putting into these videos has grown to such an extent that MrBeast is now spending hundreds of millions, with some of his latest videos being “$1 VS $100,000,000 House!” and “$1 VS $100,000,000 Car”. Although these prices seem concerning, they have worked for MrBeast, as these types of videos have given him the success he has today, and they make back the money he puts into them. Unfortunately, this has caused a wave of content creators to try to copy this type of success, and YouTube has been filled with these knockoffs of MrBeast videos.


It’s reasonable to say that MrBeast has had a role in the rise of this type of content. His years of studying the YouTube algorithm and analytics have taught him how to beat the system. The style of content that he produces has now been refined so much that it’s the optimal way to make viral videos on the platform. It’s only natural that other people would follow MrBeast’s formula. However, they don’t have as much experience, money, or generosity as MrBeast. Most of them use exploitative tactics to gain a similar result with no real drawbacks. For example, an influencer trying to recreate the success of the MrBeast video would claim to give a homeless man $10,000 dollars, but not actually go through with it due to them either not wanting to give their money to the homeless or just not having the money to do so. As long as it’s on camera, their viewers won’t know any better and will assume that nothing shady is going on. 


There are hundreds of MrBeast clones around the world, copying all of his video ideas in countries where they haven’t gone viral yet in order to get a similar amount of views. Even in the US, where the majority of people who use Youtube know MrBeast and his content, there are plenty of knockoff videos. So does this mean that MrBeast ruined YouTube by oversaturating it with the same type of content? No, not really.


It’s undeniable that MrBeast has had an impact on YouTube as a platform, but is his impact so significant that it affects every facet of YouTube? YouTube isn’t just a platform for his types of videos specifically. It’s a platform where a vast amount of content is posted, so much content that MrBeast can’t really ruin it in the grand scheme of things. Your cat videos and DIY tutorials won’t be affected in any way. Only a couple dozen content creators copy MrBeast’s videos. Compare this with the 3,700,000 YouTube videos being created DAILY, and it’s clear that while these knockoffs are boosted by the YouTube algorithm, they don’t even make a dent in the overall quality of the platform.


MrBeast has spent over a decade optimizing his content in order to get as much traction as possible on YouTube. Due to his videos constantly going viral, many people have tried to emulate his videos, hoping that what worked for MrBeast would also work for them. It’s only natural that people would try to emulate his success by copying what he does. You can’t blame MrBeast for simply showing people how to make a viral video, and you can’t blame him for people deciding to copy him either. It just comes down to a “hate the game, not the player” situation. Even if you think MrBeast is the person behind all of this, YouTube is such a big platform that the dozens of videos pumped out every day from all the MrBeast copies do nothing to change the platform. Yes, these videos might’ve muddied the waters of YouTube a bit, but the dirt-to-water ratio is so insignificant that the water is still relatively clear.

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