YouTube’s biggest stars are no strangers to controversy, like Logan Paul’s 2017 trip to Japan’s suicide forest, or bathtub-water-seller Belle Delphine. According to new reports, one of YouTube’s biggest celebrities is returning to social media via Facebook and other widely used platforms.
According to New York Post, mega-popular former YouTuber PewDiePie – aka Swedish entrepreneur Felix Kjellberg – has resurfaced on social media in a big way. After announcing his departure from YouTube in December 2019, the popular vlogger went quiet for a bit. Now he’s back and is teaming up with video distributor Jellysmack to produce content for Mark Zuckerberg’s social media site. He hasn’t posted on Facebook since October 2016, but his page still has a staggering number of fans, with eight million and climbing. It’s clear that there’s still demand for his content, and Jellysmack is looking to capitalize on that.
YouTube cut ties with PewDiePie back in 2017, canceling his original series after his barrage of anti-Semitic jokes caused an uproar. The 31-year-old Youtuber created one of the platform’s most popular channels, with over 26 billion views total and over 100 million subscribers. Despite the controversies that still surround his image, his fans still clamor for more PewDiePie content.
Disney also dropped PewDiePie, after he had signed a multimillion-dollar deal with the company. But instead of apologize for his actions, PewDiePie decided to make jokes and rant about the incidents. Despite that undeniable blow to his career, he is still the individual YouTuber with the most subscriptions on the site.
Much more recent, though, is the news that YouTube has finally begun cracking down on harmful creators and channels eager to peddle hate and misinformation. It’s great that between PewDiePie’s rants and the baseless claims of election fraud, the social media behemoth is taking these things seriously, since they are often incredibly damaging. There’s no doubt the platform has brought joy to millions of people, but with that kind of positive potential comes the yin to its yang.
At the height of his popularity, PewDiePie was making millions through his YouTube success. In 2016, Forbes listed PewDiePie as the highest-earning YouTuber, with an annual income of $15 million. However, the next year, PewDiePie’s income dropped to $12 million, and as Forbes stated, this was likely to the YouTuber’s reaction to his controversies, as well as advertising pulling their support.
Yet even with his controversies, PewDiePie has remained extremely popular. At the 2017 People’s Choice Awards, PewDiePie was nominated for Favorite YouTube Star, while at the 2019 Teen Choice Awards, PewDiePie won Choice Gamer for the year. Even with advertisers abandoning PewDiePie, it doesn’t seem like fans are ready to unsubscribe as easily.
Jellysmack, a massively successful enterprise ranking just behind Disney and ViacomCBS in unique social media views, will be helping PewDiePie grow his fan base on Snapchat, TikTok, Instagram, and others. With that kind of promotional power backing him up, it seems like PewDiePie could become more popular and viewed than ever. It will be interesting to see what happens next, especially given his uncanny knack for drawing in new fans and keeping millions of subscribers with ease.