Vlog:Sharing My Video Diary

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“I have a cat named Small Tiger.” “LXJisnotBad” is very enthusiastic about life with her cat.

Once known for remaining hidden under lock and key, many diaries today are far from private affairs. Numerous people post their feelings on a social media platform or even record short videos, which is relatively easy considering that even the most economical phone models today wield a video camera. One step past a blog, a short video diary is known as a vlog. Such homemade videos are quickly emerging as a major trend in China.

The Beginning of Vlog

With the popularization of 4G technology and the proliferation of smartphones since 2011, the audience for conveniently fragmented reading and viewing has expanded rapidly in China. From 2016 to 2018, many creators of short videos emerged on small screens in big ways. Many quality vlogs focusing on specific fields such as makeup, knowledge, and travel attracted legions of fans. Short videos are evolving from a novelty to the primary method of content consumption. And the industry is enjoying full bloom.

Just as youngsters born after 1995 were reaching the age of 20, they became the major consumers of content on the internet. Those people came of age alongside the emergence and popularity of short video products. And content has shifted as each new class of producers and consumers matures. Personalized needs and ways of expression and more intimate styles have driven the evolution of short videos.

Exceptionally personal content production such as vlogs has become popular with Chinese people, especially youngsters. Once exotic to the Chinese market, such styles are now becoming more and more mainstream in the East. Vloggers document their daily lives with smartphones or digital video recorders instead of writing or taking photos, unlike bloggers.

The first-person perspective to record personal life meets the demands of youngsters in the 21st century, who would like to share all kinds of content. For young viewers, traditional large productions have been replaced by individual providers. Viewers empathize with the vlogger and feel as if they were walking along with the creator. This facilitates deeper interaction and a closer connection between the audience and the creator.

For vloggers, they can shoot with their cell phones any time they want and upload a vlog with a mobile app. Vlogs are not only authentic, but also artistic and capable of maintaining a certain degree of privacy. Contrasting live broadcast, which is a 360-degree display of oneself, the vlog has the advantage of “proper authenticity,” which aligns with standard social contact of the young generation: Love but don’t get lost in social circles.

Evolution on Recording Life

The way to record life always changes.

The popularity of the mobile internet has not only created higher demand for content, but also made recording and sharing everyday life easy and convenient. Facilitated by the upgrade of mobile equipment and the pending 5G communication technology, short videos that combine images, text and music are now used by millions of ordinary people to express themselves. For recording everyday life, vlogs are clearly the best choice.

Although the vlog had become popular abroad long before, it is still relatively new to China. Creating a more immersive experience in a video as long as 10 to 20 minutes to cater to Chinese preferences for fragmented content and developing easier ways of recording and editing content are two major challenges for this industry.

In late 2018, the viral spread of the 21-Day Vlog Challenge marked the onset of the localization of vlogs in China. Popular series that focused on sterilizing stray cats, teaching parents how to use mobile apps and discovering lost Beijing have shown possible trends for Chinesestyle vlogs.

A new wave of short videos could sweep across China in 2019 when 5G arrives and the cost of mobile internet services drops. Behind the development of novel short videos are Chinese people’s huge demand for quality content, a pioneering spirit across many platforms and the enthusiasm of ordinary people to record the details of their lives more actively and comprehensively than with written words.

The growth of the short video industry enables Chinese users to record their lives and cherish every memory.


The author is a journalist from Caijing.com.cn.

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