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What’s all the noise about silent vlogs?

We asked Culture & Trends Manager Makoto Maeoka about a new interesting trend that’s taking off across the Asia Pacific region (APAC).

We asked Culture & Trends Manager Makoto Maeoka about a new interesting trend that’s taking off across the Asia Pacific region (APAC).

Makoto Maeoka is the Culture & Trends Manager for YouTube in Japan. Before YouTube, she worked in journalism and held many other roles, including news curator at Twitter.

Fun facts: One of her favorite things to do is travel for scuba diving. And recently, during the pandemic, playing video games and watching YouTube have become new hobbies. 

Vlogging typically involves people standing in front of a camera expressing their thoughts, opinions or experiences. However, a new style of vlogging has emerged in which creators are far less self-focused, choosing instead to hide their faces and their voices: silent vlogging. In this format, people make videos without talking to the camera -- and sometimes even without showing their physical appearance.

Japanese creator Choki shares Studio Ghibli inspired food and home cafe recipes, demonstrating how she enjoys time alone. Kominka's solo life shows his easy going country living in a traditional old house. These videos demonstrate a broad range of creativity, and the format is applicable for a wider range of content, even for how-tos.

South Korean creator Zoe’s channel exemplifies how the nation is a leading home for silent vlogging culture, including the development of a subgenre called cafe vlogs, which started growing rapidly at the end of 2019. Originating in South Korea, cafe vlogs feature baristas making drinks and sharing a slice of their lives -- offering viewers the chance to participate in calm cafe cultures.

Creating videos without revealing one’s identity has been a popular approach among those who value privacy, which is relatively common in some East Asian cultures. But this is not the only reason this unique vlogging format has emerged. Silent vlogs often focus on routine, daily activities such as cooking, cleaning, journaling and sewing in a calm atmosphere accompanied by soothing music or ASMR-like natural sounds. This style helps viewers appreciate the quiet moments and relax by being taken on a short escape from their busy, stressful daily lives. Silent vloggers also help us discover the fun and beauty of everyday activities, enabling us to appreciate small tasks and activities in ways we never imagined before.