W.M. WESTENBERG MSC THESIS - INFLUENCE OF YOUTUBERS ON TEENAGERS 1 UNIVERSITY OF TWENTE.The influence of YouTubers on teenagers A descriptive research about the role YouTubers play in the life of their teenage viewers Photo: Shody Careman WILMA WESTENBERG
W.M. WESTENBERG MSC THESIS - INFLUENCE OF YOUTUBERS ON TEENAGERS 2 The influence of YouTubers on teenagers University of Twente | P.O. Box 217, 7500AE Enschede | The Netherlands Keywords: youtube, social influencers, vloggers, youngsters, teenagers, millennials, online communication, online behavior, influencer marketing An overview of the influence Dutch YouTubers have on their teenage viewers and to what extent this influence is good or bad Master Thesis September 26, 2016 Wilma Westenberg MSc Communication Studies Specialization New Media Supervisors: N. Baas Dr. A. van Deursen
W.M. WESTENBERG MSC THESIS - INFLUENCE OF YOUTUBERS ON TEENAGERS 3 Preface Two years ago I met two well-known YouTubers from the Netherlands. We were working at the same company at that time and once a month I met them at meetings in Amsterdam. The YouTubers often talked about their YouTube channels and remarkable experiences such as being recognized in the streets by fans and the questioning gaze of parents when teenagers asked for a picture. Also, I remember moments in which we all made pictures of the delicious food and drinks and posted it on Instagram. However, one of the two YouTubers had to make sure the picture did not contain alcohol, as she felt responsible for her teenage viewers. Every month I was amazed again by the stories about the quite unknown world of YouTubers and I really enjoyed listening to them. I started following YouTubers on social media and got more involved in how the teenagers behaved towards their favorite YouTubers. Amazing how many teenagers do what YouTubers say and actually copy their behavior. I really wanted to know more about this. Meanwhile I was finishing up the course Communication Studies, specialization New Media, at the University of Twente in Enschede. I did not have to think long about a thesis subject: the influence of YouTubers on teenagers. Luckily my supervisors were as enthusiastic as I was about this topic. in So here it is. My final thesis. I worked on it for six months. It probably would have taken much longer if Koen Nijbroek did not help me transcribing all the interviews. So many thanks for this. Also a big thanks to my mother who helped me optimize my codebook. And finally a special thanks to my two supervisors Niels Baas and Alexander van Deursen for the brainstorm sessions, input and feedback. I really enjoyed listening to enthusiastic teenagers. They told me about their favorite YouTubers and sometimes even their plans of starting a channel themselves. And of course I really liked talking with Dutch YouTubers and hearing about their stories and experiences. A big thanks to all people who helped me find participants and of course to the participants themselves!