YouTube has been a go-to for many of us staying at home amid coronavirus, even if we weren’t all that into it before.
“I was never into YouTube; I didn’t really grow up with it, ”says 26-year-old Lillinette Diaz. “But now I have an obsession with YouTube because of the quarantine.”
Diaz says her YouTube history goes from “how to make coffee” tutorials to people’s “what I do in a day” video blogs. She transitioned from watching TikTok videos on a daily basis to bingeing YouTube videos as she quarantined in her apartment in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
According to YouTube, the video-watching platform has seen a spike in content built on sharing the mundane, often isolating experiences of people’s daily lives, known as “with me” videos.
This type of content experienced a 600% increase in views since March 15, while videos with “at home” in the title have had a 700% increase.
What’s cooking on YouTube
Americans working or studying from home amid the COVID-19 pandemic are looking for new ways to be productive, and video tutorials seem to be their channel to achieve that. According to YouTube, “cook with me” tutorials have increased by 100% during the period Americans have been in self-quarantine.
“I’ve been cooking the stuff I watch in the videos and it feels like a big accomplishment,” Diaz told USA TODAY.
When it comes to cooking, bread is certainly having a moment. How-to videos documenting the feeding process have hit an all-time high on YouTube, with a 260% increase since March 15. Some of YouTube’s popular cooking-related channels include Binging with Babish and Hellthy JunkFood.
Overall, people have watched more than 4 billion hours of “how to” videos over the past 12 months, according to YouTube.
Productivity videos related to working from home have also skyrocketed. YouTube has experienced a 210% increase in average daily views of videos with “home office” in the title since March 15, according to the platform.
Looking for a better you on YouTube
Many viewers have also turned to self-improvement as they self-quarantine. While videos with “self-care” in the title have more than doubled, home workout videos have climbed by 515%. Among YouTube’s workout channels, Fitness Marshall and Matt Steffanina are among the most popular.
“When people are feeling isolated and going through so many challenges, often by themselves, they can use video to enhance or navigate these experiences,” the head of culture and trends at YouTube, Kevin Allocca, told USA TODAY. “It’s about being ever-present things that we need motivation to navigate through.”
As non-essential stores in many states remained closed, people have taken it upon themselves to ensure their hair remains well-kept. Between March 10 and April 15, videos with “haircut” and “home” or “how to” in the title saw more than 56 million views on YouTube, an increase from the 34 million views from Jan. 1 through March 9.
For the 26-year-old in Puerto Rico, Emma Chamberlain’s videos on YouTube are her favorite thing to watch when she wants to unwind. Diaz says she finds Chamberlain’s carefree person while she stays at home comforting.
“She looks like she has the same life as me and I love that,” Diaz says.
Follow Coral Murphy on Twitter @CoralMerfi