Clickbait, an eye-catching link or image which encourages people to, well, click.
Usually misleading and mostly intentional, it leads lots of people to give views to many times completely irrelevant videos benefitting the poster.
But is clickbait that common in the YouTube community? Have you, as Dan and Phil viewers, ever experienced this phenomenon? Ever seen their faces on a thumbnail and believed they’re in the video when they’re not?
Let’s dive straight into it, with our favourite Times We’ve Been Ridiculously Clickbaited By Others Youtubers.
First man on the list: Joey Graceffa. It’s actually appropriate that the first example would be a vlog of an event since that’s usually when we play our own version of Where’s Wally?.
The video in question is “YOUTUBER’S INVADE NYC!,” a 12-minute vlog with a Dan and Phil screen time of about 10 seconds.
Jim Chapman doesn’t usually strike you as the kind of YouTuber who would use others as a clickbait. Which is why we found pretty odd the fact that he used this thumbnail for his 10-minute-long “PIZZA PARTY WITH DAN, PHIL & TYLER”. Vlog that features Dan and Phil for a grand total of 30 seconds.
The funniest thing about Matthew Lush’s 6-minute-long vlog, “DAN HOWELL ACKNOWLEDGED MY EXISTENCE”, is that Dan isn’t in it, but 30 seconds of his YouNow broadcast are. Oh My God indeed!
At least Shane Dawson is consistent with his Watching Youtubers’ First Videos 2 and 3, six and seven minutes long respectively, featuring a collective number of nine different YouTubers. And the thumbnails of course:
Can I add that the pictures of them in these thumbnails aren’t even from their first videos? Sigh.
What kind of a list would this be without Mr. Alfie Deyes?
Here’s Mr. Pointlessblog with his, appropriately named, “The BEST Vlog!!”
We’d provide a gif covering all the footage of Dan in this 6-minute-long video but, sadly, there is absolutely none.
And finally, who doesn’t love good ol’ Benjamin Cook? We certainly do, almost as much as he loves Dan and Phil.
He loves them so much that they are the only YouTubers featured on the Becoming YouTube 2 trailer thumbnail.
Which brings us to the core of the discussion. Because this phenomenon is best summed up as “if Dan and Phil are in it, people will watch it”, or, in the words of Ben Cook, “you put Dan and Phil at the top of your first video and you get the views”.
Because yes, clickbaiting is common in the YouTube community and it does work. And if creators realised it and used it for their own benefit, they’re not the only one who did, as twitter user @umcoolstoryphil pointed out.
using dan and phil as clickbait: it works pic.twitter.com/dvVrSwUKAk— alicia (@umcoolstoryphil) May 20, 2016
The sad thing about this is that we can’t really do much about it. As long as we’re involved in the community and as long as we keep hoping that seeing Dan and Phil’s faces means the content is strictly about them, clickbaiting is always going to happen and it’s always going to pay a YouTuber’s rent.