Facebook and Twitter infiltrate VidCon to steal YouTube's biggest superstars

Mobile video apps have shortened Andy Warhol's old adage about 15 minutes of fame. Twitter's popular Vine app, for example, has made six seconds of fame just as valuable.

This past weekend Twitter presented at VidCon, the annual online video conference in Anaheim, CA, to promote its video apps, Vine and Periscope. The company also recruited a handful of popular "Viners" to document their experiences at the conference, and these Vines were featured prominently the entire weekend inside the app's discover tab. 

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It was the first time that Twitter had a prominent showing at the conference that started out as almost strictly all about YouTube. Live-streaming app Meerkat also used this year's VidCon stage to announce an exclusive partnership streaming GoPro videos. Meanwhile Facebook executives were in town scoping out trends and talent in the online video realm.

Why this matters: As the online video market continues to grow, companies like Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo, Vimeo, Meerkat, and GoPro (all present at VidCon) are looking to poach YouTube celebrities to create original content on their platforms. And popular video stars are not shy about venturing outside YouTube.

"Everyone is interested in other platforms to diversify or to develop new audiences," VidCon co-founder and YouTube personality Hank Green to The Wall Street Journal. Earlier this year, popular YouTube news channel "The Young Turks" created a new show exclusively for Facebook. In September, Vimeo is launching a web series starring  people that first found Internet fame on YouTube. In addition, Netflix has begun streaming shows created by YouTube stars, according to the WSJ.

Can YouTube keep the talent it helped launch

As rival tech companies look to take a bite out of YouTube's bread and butter, the predominant video platform is not resting on its early lead.

"I want to be running a platform that they can stay on, that they can grow up on and extend their work even further," YouTube's CEO Susan Wojcicki told the WSJ

Wojcicki announced at VidCon new studios in Toronto and Mumbai that will give YouTubers space and equipment to produce high-quality video. According to the WSJ, YouTube is also paying bonuses to creators who post on YouTube exclusively before sharing their videos on competing platforms. The Google-owned video company also has a new division that personally caters to the special needs of its most popular YouTubers, calling them on a regular basis to try to do whatever is possible to keep them happy (and posting videos on YouTube).

"Other media companies are coming to creators and doing XYZ with them," Wojcicki added, "and I'm saying well why can't we do XYZ with them"


Oscar Raymundo

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