Have you noticed that sometimes a YouTuber will seem to collab a lot with the same people? Sometimes it just seems like people have go-to YouTube buddies, and other times creators will form official teams.
A major goal for a lot of people getting into YouTube is to get involved with a community of other video creators. Besides having subscribers and new friends who like their videos, people want to make friends who are also trying to grow on YouTube so they can support each other. Sometimes these ‘YouTube cliques’ you see have formed organically, sometimes people meet through their MCNs, and sometimes the creators involved are so intertwined that they actually form a sort of formal ‘team’ or ‘squad’ to take on YouTube together.
Here are some examples of creator groups who are playing YouTube like a team sport:
The Vlog Squad: a large group of interconnected creators, many of whom got their starts on Vine. A few of the members are Jason Nash, Scotty Sire, and funny couple David Dobrik and Liza Koshy. This is a large group with members who seem very closely connected, and others who are more peripheral. More than a branded ‘team’, The Vlog Squad are independent creators who happen to also be friends.
Savage Squad: a group of 4 beauty/lifestyle creators: Teala Dunn, Meredith Foster, Sierra Furtado, and Eva Gutowski. These ladies appear all over each other’s social media pages, although they all also have strong independent brands.
Team 10: is a brand. This group is very slickly branded together, as a team, and it is to the point where the name of the team is more recognizable than the individual names of most members (besides founder Jake Paul).
The Vlog Squad are funny friends who appear in each other’s videos in ways that feel very natural and casual. Savage Squad are genuinely good friends, but they are also undeniably good for each other’s brands/images. Team 10 is a heavily, intentionally, branded unit with a team goal of ‘taking over Hollywood’.
Having YouTube pals is awesome, but is it enough to support each other and maybe do a video together? Is it better to put a label on it?
It’s well known that a good collab is a great way to expose your channel to new viewers, and that effect is intensified when you’re part of a YouTube clique. When someone does a collab with your fave, you might decide to check them out. When they become a familiar fixture in your fave’s life, based on their videos and social media, that ‘might’ turns into something a lot more like a ‘will’.
Besides being in each other’s videos, teams can support each other in other ways. The Vlog Squad share information with each other about how much they make/have made in sponsorship deals. Being open with their friends about the financial side of what they do means that all of them are in better positions when it comes to negotiating their own deals.
Dancing, puppies, and general Vlog Squad fun from Scotty Sire.
In addition to networking, YouTubers who are in formal ‘team’ situations with other YouTubers often share resources like studio space. It’s hard to afford something like that by yourself, but if you share the cost between a few people it starts to become possible. Team 10 actually share a house, which is essentially a video factory.
Besides all the practical reasons to group up, it just feels nice to be part of a team.
Drama. So much drama.
Meredeth of Savage Squad seems to not be spending as much time with the others lately. It’s prompted widespread speculation that she’s had some kind of falling out with the group. Teala and Sierra are referring to it as ‘the situation’ and have made multiple videos where they mention it without explaining anything.
They start not talking about it at 1:40.
When you’re a YouTuber in a well-known clique of YouTubers, your friendships get dissected the same as the marriages of ‘mainstream’ celebrity couples. People will speculate on if anyone in the group secretly hates anyone else, or if anyone is secretly dating, and there is no way to stop them from drawing any conclusion they like.
Also – even more drama. What if someone on your team does something problematic, or even something illegal? You become associated with that situation.
Team 10 is a brand, and that brand is douchiness. That probably isn’t what they had in mind at the beginning (although, it's gotten them attention, so who knows?), but it’s become a reality. Is every member of Team 10 a jerk? Highly unlikely. But because the team brand is bigger than they are as individuals (leader Jake Paul is an exception, and it could be argued that the whole Team 10 brand is really an extension of his personal brand) so they’re saddled with that baggage either way.
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Being friends, doing collabs, and generally having each other’s backs is universally great. Officially teaming up – having a group name, and a group brand – isn’t always. Only you know what’s right for you.
If you were to form a YouTube clique, would you want it be more like The Vlog Squad, Savage Squad, or Team 10?
Shanoon Cox is a writer and a lover of all things video.
Follow @Shanoon Cox
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