YouTube and vlogging are like gin and tonic, hot dogs and mustard, or Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins and toxicity. What we’re saying is, the two are simply made for each other, and the video sharing platform has seen countless creators rise to relative renown by simply sharing their day, their food, or otherwise inviting strangers into in their everyday lives.
But there’s more to it than just pointing a camera, otherwise we’d all be making millions from filming our daily deeds – and a recent study has revealed the decisions creators make in their opening lines. YouTube has analysed the trends of how vloggers start their videos, and found that some greetings are more common than others. In fact, the innocuous phrase “hey guys” accounts for 36% of the top five greetings on the platform, used by the majority of vloggers.
Hey guys is used nearly twice as often as “what’s up,” which one in five YouTube vloggers open their videos with. “Good morning” was the third most-popular choice, followed by “hi guys,” and “all right.” While many of the biggest streamers have their own unique opening lines, many of them will have started out much more simply.
But the “hey guys” domination is nothing new. In a blog post, YouTube shows that it hasn’t once fallen from the top spot of vlog greetings over the past ten years. “What’s going on” is a relatively new addition to the YouTube lexicon, first hitting the top ten openings in 2016 and maintaining a spot since – although its popularity appears to be steadily decreasing over the past two years.
YouTube’s analysis is based on blogs that have at least 20,000 views from channels that have at least 20,000 subscribers, giving it a pretty exhaustive dataset of over a million videos.
However, it’s worth noting some discrepancies. While “hey guys” is universally popular, including in gaming vlogs, “ladies and gentlemen” is the most popular greeting of choice when it comes to tech videos, and “good morning” is the go-to for travel vloggers.
Internationally speaking, Brazil’s most popular “Oi gente” opening roughly translates to the dominating “hey guys,” whereas French vloggers tend to opt for “Bonjour à tous” (hello everyone or good morning all). German creators are more direct, mostly starting vlogs with “Hallo ihr,” which translates to “Hello you,” whereas Mexican vloggers open with a friendly “Hola hola,” which really doesn’t need translating.
Does opening your video with “Hey guys” put you on the fast track to a successful YouTube career? Hardly. In fact, it may make it harder to distinguish yourself from all the other vloggers opening with those same words. Ultimately, your opening words will not determine whether your channel is a success or not – but starting with “Hey guys” does appear to help you out.