Social Pages

By Robert Sutter

On the surface, it doesn't seem like there is much of any difference between "fanbases" and "audiences." After all, the both of them entail groups of people that are interested in one form of media over another, which is a point that cannot be argued against. With that said, though, there seems to be differences, if a recent article about YouTube is anything to go by. It might signal a shift in terms of how viewers are appealed to but will Internet marketing companies agree with such a point?

The Guardian posted an article about YouTube and how it is stressing the point of building "fanbases" - not audiences - to its many users. The reason that YouTube gave was that fanbases are more likely to choose what it is that they will watch, at the times that they would like. Audiences, though, seem to tune in to watch whenever they are told. It's easy to assume that fanbases have a more positive connotation, not just in the realm of social media but content creation as well.

For example, I am a regular user on Tumblr and I will often see people live-blogging during television shows, commenting on events that deserve to have attention brought to them. What they are able to do, as a result, is create content. They can write commentary and perhaps even record their own videos that they can then post on the site in question. The show does not stop the moment that the credits roll; if anything, the show will only stop when the fans demand it, as Internet marketing companies may attest to.

I do have one concern that the article brought to my attention, however, and it was one that was focused on the gearing of content based on interests. It's important to keep in mind that the suggestion of certain videos can come across as intrusive, according to many Internet marketing companies. What has to be done is more organic engagement, which is an important factor associated with firms like fishbat. The content shouldn't be so much in-your-face; rather, the distribution of said content should be more natural.

If this move by YouTube can allow videos to reach more people in the long run, then it would be safe to call it a success. However, the chances of people clicking on links to watch the videos in question are going to vary, especially when everyone likes certain things. One cannot simply gear one video to one hundred people and expect every last individual to click on it. Hopefully this matter of "fanbases" versus "audiences" will produce results that will stand tall in the long term.

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