Lately I’ve been reading a number of articles in mainstream media outlets on the rise (and payday) of the influencers on social media. Okay, while that’s relatively old news these days, what has caught my specific attention this time around is the focus on what these influencers are doing on social media – unboxing and hauling. If you are unfamiliar with either of these terms, go to YouTube and search for them (after you read my article here, of course.) Unboxing is basically someone filming the opening of an item from its package, revealing the contents, setting it up and/or demonstrating it. Hauling is when someone shows off what they purchased on a shopping outing…
What’s interesting to me is how these videos can rack up tens of thousands of views. I think it’s driven a bit by envy, FOMO (fear of missing out), and sort of a vicarious and voyeuristic nature of human beings. Most of us cannot buy everything – but we all know the excitement of getting something new. Either we saved up for it for a while, we spent our hard earned money on it, or it was a big surprise – we can remember the excitement and endorphins/dopamine that these positive experiences release. It’s exciting. So by watching videos of other people sharing those experiences, we share in that excitement (albeit someone of a let down at the end when the video ends.)
The fact that some kids and adults have been able to monetize this is very clever by creating videos on YouTube and earning ad revenue. This trend didn’t really hit me until I was searching for a drone with my son and we came across many of these videos. I admit, I was pulled in for the unboxing of these high end drones. It also gave me a good idea of what to expect if I were to purchase one.
Will I be the next person to monetize unboxing? Probably not. But the YouTube generation continues to impress me with not only what is posted but what is consumed and considered popular. Though I opine that the later often drives the propagation of the former.