Before the upsurge of social media, it
was common to hear stories of aspiring artists moving to music capitals like
Memphis or Los Angeles and performing in open mic nights. These aspiring
artists even went door to door to major record labels in hopes of being
“discovered,” or at least that’s how Taylor Swift rose to musical domination.
In 2006, YouTube, a video-sharing
website in which users can upload, share and view video content was created and
quickly began to draw a sizable audience. Users had the ability to search for
music videos, share video blogs and in many cases; talented and hopeful singers
would showcase their voices to covers of songs or even share their own original
According to YouTube, every day people
watch hundreds of millions of hours on YouTube and generate billions of views. We
have all heard the famous story of Justin Bieber being discovered on YouTube in
2007, but the video platform has also given rise to artists like Cody Simpson,
Carly Rae Jepson, Karmin and Soulja Boy. Since its derivation, YouTube has
stood out as a colossal influencer serving as a site for “how to videos” as
well as the basis for TV shows like Tosh.0 and Ridiculousness.
Like YouTube, the creation of apps
like Instagram in 2010 and Vine in 2013 also allow users to upload video
content. These new social media and content sharing platforms have also given
rise to new artists and trends. Instagram began as a mobile picture sharing
service that has since developed video capabilities for clips up to 15 seconds
in length. Vine, another native phone app, developed as a clip sharing app for
video clips up to six seconds in length. Unlike YouTube where the video time
limit is 15 minutes, Instagram and Vine
users must be very creative in order to get their message across in such a
short amount of time when using video content.
Musicians also took quickly to these
apps, seeing the time limit as a challenge. Of those musical hopefuls, sixteen
year old singer/ song writer Shawn Mendes began posting covers of songs on Vine
and quickly gained millions of followers and views. He was later discovered by
Andrew Gertler of Island Records, the label Mendes is now signed to.
Another vine sensation, Jack & Jack,
comprised of nineteen year old Jack Johnson and eighteen year old Jack Gilinsky
has also received worldwide recognition from their Vine posts. The duo first
started on YouTube but when the Vine app gained popularity, the pair began to
post clips on Vine and quickly gained an audience. On Vine, the two would create
and post comedic vines, then, six second covers of songs which thrust Jack and
Jack into a music career.
Both Jack and Jack and Sean Mendes
were nominated for awards at the 2014 Teen Choice Awards where Mendes won
Choice Web Star: Music. Both artists have been climbing the music charts since
2014 and with the help of social media. It doesn’t look like these boys will be
falling down in the ranks any time soon.
Social media platforms like YouTube,
Instagram and Vine allow users to share their content across multiple realms of
social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr and have thus
changed the way we influence one another. Gone are the days of media reaching
us days after an event. We are living in an age of media where we are updated
24/7 on events that are happening around us. With the click of a screen, we are
able to view endless amount of content, whether that be a “how to blog”, life
hacks or even to see aspiring artists like Shawn Mendes’ latest Vine post. We
have the ability to create and share content with the capabilities of reaching
millions of people daily.
With this much power, apps and mobile
devices are changing the way we influence one another, how has it changed you?
Contributor: Morgan Duda, Executive Assistant at Marketing Maven