MrBeast: World’s biggest Youtuber backtracks on X video snub

The world’s most popular YouTuber, MrBeast, has shared a full video on X for the first time, having previously said even a “billion views” would not make it worth his while.

The star has previously made his material available to his 231 million subscribers on YouTube.

MrBeast said he is now trying X because he is “super curious” how much advertising revenue it will make.

His U-turn is a boost for the struggling social media platform.

Owner Elon Musk has tried various strategies to boost the business – previously known as Twitter – since buying it in October 2022.

These include sharing advertising revenue with high profile creators, something that other sites, including YouTube, already do.

The amount so-called influencers can make varies from person to person. The terms of individual deals are kept confidential though it is thought the biggest names may be able to negotiate special rates.

MrBeast, real name Jimmy Donaldson, said he would publicly reveal the money he made from the X video, which picked up 33 million views in just 10 hours, in a week’s time.

However, it has some way to go to beat the total audience it gained on the previous platform, where it has been viewed 211 million times since it was posted in September 2023.

Regardless, it amounts to a significant change of heart for MrBeast, who previously said it was not worth his time to post videos to X, as “even if they got a billion views” it wouldn’t cover the cost.

Expensive videos

MrBeast has claimed that his YouTube videos cost millions of dollars to make. But he has also earned a fortune. In November 2022, Forbes estimated that he made $54m (£42.5m) in a year from YouTube.

Since then, he has gained 120 million more subscribers on his main channel.

Those kinds of figures mean it is a boon for X to host MrBeast’s content.

But there is no guarantee he will replicate his success on YouTube, as demonstrated by the recent deal struck by US celebrity Paris Hilton, which was pulled after just four weeks.

“I think he’s doing this to prove the point that you can’t make any real money as a video creator on Twitter,” said Dave Wiskus, CEO of indie streaming service Nebula.

“We can talk about who owns Twitter, who advertises on Twitter, and what the ethical implications are of engaging with it at all, but I don’t get the sense that what he’s doing is designed to make Twitter look good.

“This isn’t an endorsement; I think he’s using his visibility to try to improve things.”

The amount of advertising revenue creators can make may also be affected by Mr Musk’s feud with advertisers, some of whom he has a rocky relationship with. Last year, he swore at the Disney chief executive, Bob Iger, during a live event after the entertainment giant pulled its advertising from X.

X has also been marred by accusations that it is allowing hate speech on the platform – which it vociferously denies – and unlike some of the celebrities Mr Musk has previously endorsed on X, MrBeast has a wholesome image.

He is known for his charity work and giving away money, while Kris, a member of his production team who regularly appears in videos, came out as trans in 2023.

But ultimately it isn’t just big brands that bankroll social networks, which tend to spend well but sporadically on high profile campaigns. For every big name there needs to be millions of small and medium businesses, spending little and often, to keep a platform afloat.

If the experiment is to be a success, from X’s point of view, the question will be how many of those MrBeast draws in.

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