Title: The digital media phenomenon of YouTube beauty gurus: the case of Bubzbeauty

Authors: Florencia García-Rapp

Addresses: Department of Communication, Pompeu Fabra University, Roc Boronat 138, 08018 Barcelona, Spain

Abstract: This paper, based on broader digital ethnographic research performed on YouTube, aims at framing issues of online popularity development through the examination of videos and user comments. To explore the phenomenon of beauty gurus I analyse a purposeful sample of 80 videos from the channel Bubzbeauty and introduce an emerged typology of two video categories: tutorials and vlogs. Findings suggest that the strengthening of the guru's role as a popular online personality is the result of two spheres of influence. The commercial side consists of YouTube as a business platform and is represented by her tutorials. The community sphere, sustained by the power of affective ties with her audience, is represented by her vlogs. I argue that her market value as a renowned guru is built through her know-how expressed in straight-forward tutorials. Conversely, her social value as an interesting, trustworthy personality is fostered by intimate vlogs.

Keywords: YouTube gurus; makeup tutorials; beauty gurus; vlogs; YouTube; online communities; online popularity; digital ethnography; web based communities; virtual communities; digital media; Bubzbeauty; videos; user comments; online personalities; market value; social value.

DOI: 10.1504/IJWBC.2016.080810

International Journal of Web Based Communities, 2016 Vol.12 No.4, pp.360 - 375

Received: 07 Dec 2015
Accepted: 12 Feb 2016

Published online: 07 Dec 2016 *

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