If you clicked here, you’re probably already familiar with the concept of reaction videos and channels on YouTube. Most people who are into YouTube know how and where to find interesting new genres of videos. It hits you like a tsunami of interesting titles and videos you want to watch. And they also leave you gawking at your computer screen for hours. So, whether you hate them or like them, you can’t really ignore them.
If you’re not particularly clicking on react channels and playing reaction videos on a loop, you’re probably watching a reaction video disguised in some other form. Like gaming videos? They’re reaction videos. First impression of beauty product? They’re reaction videos too. And so are Unboxing videos, and many more other types that I missed. Let’s define a Reaction Video first and talk about the kinds of reaction videos people like/dislike.
Let’s define a Reaction Video first and talk about the kinds of reaction videos people like/dislike.
Simple, it’s a clip of someone reacting to something. It sounds too simple but too many people love this ‘react’ genre of YouTube. And that made FineBros the biggest reaction YouTube channel.
Simple, it’s a clip of someone reacting to something. It sounds too simple but too many people love this ‘react’ genre of YouTube. And that made FineBros the biggest react YouTube channel.
Benny and Rafi Fine, AKA The Fine Brothers gained a lot of fame and money by showing us reactions of all kinds of people- from kids, teens, adults, elders, to YouTubers. But, they got a lot of criticism too. Obviously for their attempts to trademark the word “react” and introduce “React World”.
If you put it technically, a reaction video consists of an item(a film, TV show, video game, or any video), being viewed and displayed in the corner of the video for us. Of course, the dominating part of the frame is the person reacting or enjoying the experience. So we get the best of both- the subject, and the experience, in one video.
Bear in mind, that nobody wants to watch someone quietly enjoying a movie or something. (One of the reasons why people hate Jinx.)
People want the person reacting to either ‘love it’ or ‘hate it’. They don’t want to see boring reactions, sometimes they’re awkward and funny, but most of the times, they’re just simply boring.
Extreme reactions with full-on emotions are the best. And they are most required on the best scenes. The best react videos are where people are themselves, also, honest, and who communicate in a positive manner, even if they’re not enjoying it. (One of the reasons why people love Pewdiepie.)
Now that’s all clear I hope. But I think I’m still keeping it pretty narrow. Because you know, there’s always that weird part of YouTube. Like people making videos of Cats reacting to videos and real things. They are so weirdly entertaining, it’s almost embarrassing to admit.
So, to categorise a few types of reaction channels, we have-
Fine Brothers Entertainment– the channel that made react videos cool
REACT– FineBros’ channel, meant just for React videos. The main channel also has sketches, series, and their other shows.
Jinx– the kind of channel that steals videos.
Many creators hate channels like Jinx, because they straight up use the entire video for their nonsensical “reaction video”. And many users just follow these channels for watching popular/trending videos AND the reaction, without even going to the original video. Which is a huge loss of views and revenue for the creator.
boogie2988– the kind that makes the point of react videos sensible.
h3h3Productions– the kind that sets an example for reaction channels. H3h3 is good & different. Be like h3h3.
IISuperwomanII (My parents react Series)- the kind of videos you watch for pure entertainment.
So, to understand WHY people like Reaction Videos, you need to understand the elements that form a reaction video.
1. Know about the subject-
Sometimes when I think I’m missing out on YouTube or trends, I just go to FineBros’ channel and watch some YouTubers react to this or that or any interesting video that I feel is worth clicking. Just to get myself some extra knowledge. The good thing about FineBros is that they not only show you the video and reactions to the video but also discuss and explain the subject. And the people reacting also kind of ‘review’ the subject. So for example, if you haven’t heard Beyonce’s new controversial album- Lemonade, and you want to know what is it all about, you can watch Elders react to Beyonce’s Lemonade. So you get two things out of the video, one- if you’ve already heard the album, you can know more fun facts, and look at people’s reaction to it, and two- if you haven’t, then you can decide whether you want to check out the whole album or not.
2. Watching other people experience something is really really entertaining.
Especially if it’s for the first time. Their first-hand experience just takes it another level of interest. There’s a strange anticipation of hearing what they have to say while and after experiencing the thing.
3. How much the people reacting already knew about the subject.
One other element is the Virality of the trend. Are people talking a lot about the topic? If they are, the committed users of the channels will ask them to do a video on it, like “Please react to Suicide Squad Trailer” or something, and they do it.
A good reaction video discusses the most commonly asked questions about the topic and also answer some logical questions which present facts that people enlightens people with new and clear knowledge.
5. Fun Facts and Relatable examples.
FineBros provide fun facts in text and or tell the “reactor” about it. And their reactions are relatable. Like “Oh really? Wow. I didn’t know that”. Similar/other channels do that too. And in most reviews when people relate the subject with similar examples which it easy to understand and also makes the viewers go “Yeahhhh. It really is like that thing!”
6. Someone puts your thoughts into words.
People want to hear opinions of other people. They love it if ‘they’ love it, and even if the people are really mean sometimes. For example, Kids Reacting to Donald Trump. People hate Trump so much they love it, when someone says the ugly truth. But in general, viewers are just mildly grateful for someone putting their thoughts into words. Like “Yes. thank you, that’s exactly how I feel.”
7. Empathy & Cognitive consonance
Cognitive consonance as in the feeling of experiencing similar emotions. And according to arstechnica.com- Empathy may be another reason react videos are so easy to watch. Most viral things on the Internet are easily digested, either due to the subject matter (the sillier the better) or duration (the shorter the better). React videos are neither the shortest videos online nor are their topics always funny. Instead, their digestibility comes from recognisable emotion.
Unrecognisable emotion is just one way social bonds break down. In turn, clear emotions help us relate to other people, even strangers on a computer screen. “We feel immediately bonded to them because we say, ‘Yep, I would have that reaction, too’,” A scientist says. “You feel like you’ve been heard in some way because you’ve bonded with them.” React videos provide a two-fold experience: we feel satisfied because we know the emotions being conveyed in the video, and we bond with the reactor because we can share their emotions.
Maybe that’s why we can so easily forget our work and responsibilities and fall into a YouTube binge-watching trap. They understand you and you understood them… they just get you.
Social bond with the people can also be following the channel, or following the YouTubers who are reacting maybe. And we click on the video because we look up to their reaction.
As in Nationality, lifestyle, or any liking- gaming, beauty, unboxing, music videos, etc.
For example- Indian audience loves to watch foreigners react to Indian movies, trailers, try Indian food. I find these videos really interesting too, especially, the type where Americans try to Indian snacks/food or anything really. So it all comes to the relatability of the experience.