"Hey guys!": How creators greet their audiences
It all started with a simple observation: A lot of creators seemed to be favouring a particular phrase — “Hey guys!”
As part of our mission to inspire deeper understanding of digital culture by bringing YouTube trends to life, the Culture & Trends team produces data visualisations that explain complex trends -- all packaged in an interactive and engaging experience.
Our latest data visualisation is a fun and informative look at how creators open their videos.
We wondered just how omnipresent this phrase was, so we analyzed over one million(!) videos, parsing their captions, identifying their openers, and categorizing them to understand the different types of greetings, their usage on the platform over the past decade, how they show up around the world, and which creators use them.
While vlog openers may seem like a narrow area of focus, our data viz highlights the way in which individual creators are engaging with their collective audience of hundreds of millions, every day.
Here are 5 things to know about how creators start their videos:
"Hey guys" was the #1 vlog greeting in 2020, which accounted for 36% of the top five greetings.
While “Hey guys” has been the preferred greeting for the last decade, the rest of the top 10 has seen a fair amount of movement. For example, “Good morning” has progressively become more en vogue (possibly reflecting the rise of “get ready with me” videos), while “Hi everyone” seems well on its way to oblivion.
The dominance of “Hey guys” isn’t absolute. When you break things down and look at distinct categories, other greetings assert themselves. Fitness channels, for example, favor “What’s up,” while travel channels opt for “Good morning” (signaling the sunrise-like possibilities that lie waiting beyond the horizon).
In Brazil, the top greeting on YouTube is “Oi gente,” which translates to -- you guessed it -- “Hey guys” in Portuguese. Likewise, Mexican creators use “Hola amigos,” while, in France, they prefer a cheerful “Bonjour à tous” or “Hello to all.”
Top creators have created signature openings that have become iconic as their popularity has grown, suggesting that there’s value in establishing your unique personality in your first impression.