Price tags used for clickbait are becoming less mainstream now that what is encouraging viewers to click on a video is the number of lamborghinis or swimming pools in the thumbnail.
House tour videos on YouTube are a newly emerging genre on their own – one that is more about showing than teaching, unlike your average makeup tutorial or ever-relevant skin care routine.
These videos have gained so much popularity for the “flex” nature that young viewers ogle over. Houses, or mostly futuristic palaces in L.A., that are shown-off by YouTubers, celebrities, TikTok stars and the like are accomplished properties that have been bought by millennials or families who have reached absurd amounts of wealth through internet fame.
Make-up-guru-turned-millionaire Jeffree Star, for example, has filmed several videos of the “flex” variety. From showing off his self-proclaimed “museum of fashion” wardrobe and his insane car collection, to his “dream house” palatial mansion, it is no surprise that Star has made a name for himself for being the world’s richest YouTuber.
“Six years ago, I had $500 to my name,” he says in the beginning of the video, showing how internet success can catapult “ordinary people” to the heights of unbelievable wealth represented by an eight-bedroom compound in Calabasas.
However, this isn’t the biggest boast that YouTube users have seen from their favourite creators. The ACE Family, a young family of four who share vlogs to more than 19 million subscribers, recently uploaded a house tour that lasted a full hour. In the tour, Austin McBroom and Catherine Paiz explain that they have designed a compound consisting of two houses combined together.
It seems like we’ve come a long way from the minimalism boom that could be seen on the video-sharing platform a few years back, but now it appears that creators are parading their harmful and radical views about money. The Tiny House phenomenon stands as the perfect counter-image to the grandiose homes influencers display to their following. Even though internet users devour hours of tours of luxury homes on YouTube, other viewers’ inclination to consume content more geared towards a minimalistic approach reveals that some aren’t entirely sold on the dream.
Jimmy “MrBeast Donaldson has garnered a massive following that continues to grow at a surprisingly high rate. MrBeast currently has more than 66 million subscribers on YouTube, and his videos frequently rack up an even larger number of views. Despite these rather surprising figures, the creator claimed he actually loses money on his sleekly produced videos. After kickstarting a food delivery service, it seems like Donaldson was able to afford the generous premise of his most popular videos, where he usually gives away cash, cars, and even houses to fans and, sometimes, random strangers in his videos.
MrBeast’s subscribers were surprised when, in a Jake Paul video where he takes a trip to see where he lives, it turns out that his house in North Carolina is far from extravagant. It’s simply a regular house like yours or mine – nothing you’d really see in MTV Cribs.
In the same way that older audiences consistently tune into daytime home remodeling shows that are more or less the same, younger people tune into YouTube house tours to get their reno-porn (renovation porn) fix. It’s fun to watch other people make changes to their home that you don’t have the time or money to do to your own, and that goes for a population that can’t afford a house in the first place, too. That’s what porn is, after all: a fantasy.