The social network surge: an investigation on the catalysts of Youtube and it's growth

Masters Thesis

Killgallon, S. 2020. The social network surge: an investigation on the catalysts of Youtube and it's growth. Masters Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University School of Creative Arts and Industries
AuthorsKillgallon, S.
TypeMasters Thesis
Qualification nameMasters by Research

With YouTube, created in 2005, being at the forefront of social networking sites (SNSs) and Internet usage in 2021, the aim of this thesis is to understand and research the reasoning behind the evolution and progression of YouTube. This will focus on the elements that have aided its growth through an empirical study on 131 young adults. With the exponential growth of the Internet in the past decade and a half, it is fundamental for academic research to observe this growth accordingly.

Existing literature has a broad scope in addressing the growth of YouTube in society, however there is limited research establishing the reasons behind this. Through cumulative research, we can lessen the gap in knowledge of the YouTube; to do this, the focus must centre on which elements have catalysed its popularity. The structure of this thesis on YouTube will be in four themes: firstly, the technological developments in society, secondly, the content on YouTube, thirdly the content creators on YouTube and finally the YouTube users. Each theme discussed within this research brings its own discussion and analysis to the research question at hand.

Within the MA Thesis, I applied a mixed methods approach, using both quantitative and qualitative research, aiming to undercover the reasoning behind the growth of YouTube and the scope of its influence. The research will apply a questionnaire with one hundred and twentyseven participants and four interviews. The theoretical framework throughout each chapter is to present the everyday voices and experience of the research participants and their relationship to YouTube. It is through combining this selection of research with in-depth theory of the history and the personalities within YouTube, that a comprehensive reasoning to the evolution of YouTube can be deliberated.

As the themes and findings within this research all underpin the growth of YouTube in society and the catalysis of its growth, it is vital we evaluate and explore these theme to predict where YouTube might head in the future. Coughlan (2016) reported that 96% of “13- to 18-year-olds, were signed up to social media networks” (p. 1) and it is research like this that illustrated the importance of SNSs influence on society, especially when looking into the future generation. Further research is fundamental in order to justify why society are so heavily engaged with the online SNSs such as YouTube. This research will aim to establish a more cohesive body of knowledge on the research question at hand adding to previous literature and research.

KeywordsYoutube; Social network surge; Evolutoin; Progress; Growth
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Deposited12 Aug 2021
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