Fast Company

Making Friends With YouTube Superstar iJustine At VidCon

If you spend any time on YouTube you've probably come across an iJustine or an itsmejennae video. We get to know the creators, Justine Ezarik and her sister Jenna Ezarik, in the first of a series exploring how online video creators and fans are establishing a new Hollywood.

The cheerleaders walking outside the Anaheim Convention center shouted through the glass doors when they saw Justine Ezarik giving an interview to Fast Company. “It’s iJustine!,” one said, as she tapped her fellow squad member.

“Hey. Hi.” Justine called back.

Laughter and squeals followed. More cheerleaders passed and more craned their necks to get a glimpse of the YouTube sensation they know as iJustine, who does everything from making music videos to reviewing gadgets on her YouTube channels.

She doesn’t call herself famous, but with five YouTube channels with a combined 3.2 million subscribers and more than 430 million video views, this daughter of a coal miner and an actress has figured out how to appeal to the online masses.

“I wouldn’t call them fans as much as I would call them friends,” she told us. “They know who I am and I’m always authentic.”

Thousands of those friends turned out over the weekend to VidCon for a chance to meet YouTube icons like iJustine. The three-day conference put Internet video stars in the same room as their adorning fans, er, friends. This year an estimated 11,000 attendees showed up.

“I just love being here,” Justine says.

A scream comes from a teenage girl at the other end of the corridor, “Hi, iJustine. I love you!”

“I love you, too.”

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