Vlogging is a powerful medium. The moment Adam Kontras grabbed a video camera in Los Angeles back in 2000 and began documenting his personal journey to make it in show business, vlogging exploded into a frenzy of broad journals, tutorial segments and reviews in just a few short years. Fast forward to the present and vlogging not only continues to grow in scope but in tradition as well. Vlogging has become one of the most popular forms of communication around.

A little history on vlogging

Vlogging isn’t new. It’s actually been around since before the internet. Nelson Sullivan was one of the first people to use a vlog-like video shooting style in the 1980s. He started out recording videos around his home in New York City. Even prior to that, diary filmmaker Jonas Mekas was making experimental film logs beginning in the 60s and 70s. By 1994, Justin Hall began blogging and vlogging his way into recognition. What made vlogging so unique back then — and even today — was the first-person storytelling style. This is what gaves vlogging the unique influence it had and still has on the viewer.

Black and white photo of Justin Hall
Justin Hall is considered one of the pioneers of the vlogging genre. He was making vlogs before YouTube even existed.

In the beginning, before the term vlogger gained popularity, proto-vloggers did everything with a hand-held camera. They would shoot anything and everything that grabbed their interest. Blogging had already gained popularity when vlogging pioneer Adam Kontras uploaded the first video log in January of 2000. This changed the game. Adam’s success inspired a deluge of enthusiasts to shape the format with subgenres and techniques to suit their individual ambitions.

Vlogging today versus vlogging a year ago

Vlogging seems to change and grow with each passing year. In the last year alone, technology has improved tremendously, making it easier to create high-quality videos. Many vloggers have advanced from webcams and smartphones, and the single point-of-view, to superior video cuts and editing and multiple camera angles. Vloggers today use an array of DSLR or mirrorless cameras, complete with shotgun microphones. Some cameras, like the Panasonic G7, are even manufactured specifically with vlogging in mind. Beyond that, vloggers benefited from numerous new and improved mobile editing apps and tools made exclusively for them.

Thanks to inexpensive equipment and growth and accessibility in technology, vloggers are creating more interesting, appealing, and engaging video content to share across social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitch and Vimeo.

Vlogs as marketing strategy

Likewise, more businesses and entrepreneurs have begun entering the vlogging world. There’s been a serious uptick in marketers and salespeople embracing the vlog format in this year as opposed to last year.

In 2018, ad spending in social media began shifting, particularly influencing ad dollars spent on Instagram. This, in turn, drew in more businesses and entrepreneurs to set new trends for vlogging content and live video via the social media platform. Right now, there are many brands starting to capitalize on Instagram story ads in particular.

Because new social media platforms are emerging all the time, video content is being shared more now than ever before with promising statistics in this year alone. And with Facebook Live, Instagram Live, and live streaming on platforms like YouTube and Twitch, live video and vlogging has become even more valuable for businesses and thriving entrepreneurs in 2019.

As a result, the vlogging genre has changed from documenting lifestyles to catering to niche industries. It has gone from simple first-person storytelling to advancements in innovative technology and filming. Today, many vloggers are setting trends in using platforms to build brands, startups and businesses.

This new trend of businesses and entrepreneurs turning to vlogging to communicate with their customers has become a colossal shift from video vlogging being exclusive to reviews and online journals.

Young woman going live on Facebook with emojis all over the screen
With so many platforms now supporting live video broadcast, the vlogging genre is expanding to include live hangouts and even IRL streaming. Going live lets you get even closer to your fans.

What the future holds

With first-person storytelling still being the most effective way to communicate ideas and messages, the future of business and marketers and salespeople vlogging in 2019 seems to be a high trend headed into the mainstream. The chance of it evolving into something else or simply fading away doesn’t seem to deter creators from following suit behind the innovative vloggers who popularized the medium throughout the decades.

Vlogging continues to build the internet community in ways never imagined before. Both Facebook and Instagram have seriously invested in video in recent years. YouTube continues to grow by 60% every year in hours of videos being watched. Children as young as five and eight-years-old are making millions of dollars per year on YouTube.

More people are engaged in live videos on Instagram Live and live streaming on Twitch and YouTube. And YouTube has proven itself as both the pioneer and the most effective platform for both experienced and new vloggers.

Simply put, vlogging is here to stay and new, trendsetting ideas are just around the corner. Will yours be next?

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