Reply Girls, a much-hated YouTube phenomenon, were a small group of highly-successful YouTube marketers making use of excessive cleavage and “gaming the system.” By replying to the most-viewed YouTube channels, Reply Girls reached massive audiences with videos that rarely contained more than an excessively attractive pair of breasts and a “Hey guys, I liked this video, leave a comment.”
In March, YouTube improved the related video algorithm, cutting off Reply Girls from their “audience,” who were mostly hormonal young boys enraged that they had been tricked into viewing a totally pointless video. YouTube reply channels were sometimes the sole source of income for the young women, and gaming the old system was probably the only way they ever got a single view. Since the change, Reply Girls have done their best to adapt to this new environment by reassessing the weaknesses of their old methods and trying new things. None have found the same success they once leeched from popular YouTube channels such as Yogscast and Machinima, but some have found actual approval from their audience. Prominent Reply Girls LauraSparkling, TheReplyGirl, and MeganSpeaks have taken wildly different directions, but all have changed drastically for the better.
LauraSparkling, known for her terrible dancing and worse singing, had already branched into “parody” music videos and absurd emotional breakdowns before the algorithm change. However, she has since deleted the entirety of her previous body of work and started an entirely new channel, LauraCaptured. LauraSparkling’s new direction seems to be quickly edited videos of her at her most bubbly, with the expected footage of horses and bad dancing. She’s decided to block out all the “haters” and apply herself a little more to the editing process.
TheReplyGirl, possibly the most hated of the now “defunct” Reply Girls, faced open harassment from the YouTube community and pranks from hackers after making this video which tearfully addressed the change in YouTube’s algorithm.
Since then, TheReplyGirl has found the most success speaking out about political issues like the war on drugs. It’s interesting to note the way TheReplyGirl has changed her video framing. In some of her videos, she has experimented with extreme angles accentuating her bust, and in other (more successful) videos, she positioned herself at a more appropriate distance and gestured to help convey the meaning behind surprisingly substantive dialog.
MeganSpeaks, the most resilient of the Reply Girl cabal, openly joined the attack on TheReplyGirl and forswore making any further reply videos. Despite making hundreds of these type of videos, MeganSpeaks maintains that it was all an ironic attempt to troll TheReplyGirl. Of course, this kind of “irony” can be dangerous.
Since this video, MeganSpeaks has staged an Anonymous hoax, faked her own retirement from YouTube, started her own abject Minecraft channel, and recorded some really interesting “workout” videos. This one is titled “AMAZING BUTT EXPERT TEACHES YOU ARM WORKOUTS AND LEGS TO PUNCHING EVERYWHERE.”
Even with this relatively successful “shotgun strategy,” MeganSpeaks has taken a massive hit in views. However, she still maintains the biggest following of any Reply Girl since the algorithm change.
While the Reply Girls struggle to survive in this new and more daunting world where the content of their videos actually matter, the haters seem to have been appeased. Those who love to hate Reply Girls have all focused on harassing TheReplyGirl, liberating the others.