A few years ago, iJustine was one of the biggest names on YouTube. During this period of time, “vlogging”, or video blogging, was becoming much more popular, and iJustine was one of the first YouTubers to make a name for themselves by vlogging. During the late 2000s, she was easily one of the most popular YouTube channels out there. Today, though, it doesn’t really feel like her YouTube presence is as strong as it used to be. So, that begs the question: Where is iJustine now?
iJustine’s Early Life
Justine Ezarik was born in 1984 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 2002, she graduated from Bentworth High School as an honor student. From there, she went on to attend Pittsburgh Technical Institute, where she graduated in 2004. During this time, Justine spent a considerable amount of time learning about things like graphic design and video production, which would prove to be very valuable skills later in her career. She had a few minor acting roles and helped create a couple of small video productions, but she was mostly flying under the radar. It wasn’t until 2007 when this budding star decided to bloom.
iJustine’s Rise to Fame
In 2007, Justin Kan launched the website Justin.tv. At first glance, Justin.tv seemed pretty similar to YouTube, which had launched a couple of years prior. Users created a channel, hosted video, and allowed other people around the world to view their videos. The primary difference with Justin.tv? All video was broadcast live. The website encouraged its users to broadcast their lives in a way that hadn’t ever really been possible before. As a beta tester for the website, iJustine took that challenge and ran with it. She became one of the most popular “lifecasters” on Justin.tv, attracting a lot of attention in the media and online. People were drawn to Justine’s good looks, fun sense of humor, and entertaining personality. She had made a YouTube channel prior to lifecasting on Justin.tv, but it wasn’t really until she began lifecasting when her YouTube channel began to become popular.
From there, iJustine basically just rode the waves of Internet popularity. She continued to lifecast and amass as loyal following, and was even able to have a couple of videos on her YouTube channel go viral. (Most notably, a video where Justine complains about a 300-page iPhone bill.) She wasn’t just attracting the attention of Internet-going teens, either. In 2008, Justine was invited to serve on Intel’s social media strategy advisory board. Although she was highly successful, she found herself becoming a bit fatigued with broadcasting so much of her life online. As a result, she gradually scaled back this aspect of her career. By mid-2009, she had more or less stopped lifecasting entirely. Where did she go from there?
Moving Over to YouTube
iJustine saw a lot of success by leveraging her Justin.tv audience to make her YouTube channel more successful. So, once she left lifecasting, she turned to YouTube. Although she was a rising star in the years prior, I would argue that this period of 2009 – 2010 was when she was most popular. This was the time period when YouTube stars truly began to emerge, and Justine was certainly one of those stars. She continued to crank out videos during this time, and she continued to amass a large following across a variety of different social media outlets. She was winning awards, she was being consulted by networks like MTV to host events, she was getting millions of views by the month, and so on.
I think that one of the Justine’s largest keys to success during this period of time was the variety of content that she was producing. There were a lot of people who were successful on YouTube during this time, but most of them stuck to a single format. They covered news, they reacted to videos, they parodied viral videos, but not many channels did all of these things. iJustine has always been a very versatile entertainer — she’s considered a personality, above all else — and she used that to her advantage. She parodied music videos (her parody of the Black Eyed Peas song “I Gotta Feeling” is her most viewed video), she made vlogs, she made shorts, she reviewed tech, and so much more. She appealed to such a broad audience, and that got her a lot of sustained attention.
iJustine was able to maintain that popularity for quite some time. In 2010, she was nominated for the Streamy Award’s Best Vlogger award. In that same year, GE commissioned her to create a few videos for their Healthymagination viral campaign. Then, in 2011, she was nominated again for a Streamy Award, this time for Best Web Personality/Host. After that, though, her popularity started to slowly decline. As the YouTube space became more competitive, it didn’t seem like she was able to entirely keep up. She remained relevant, but not necessarily as popular as she had been in the past. So, what happened? What’s iJustine doing today?
What’s iJustine Doing Now in 2018?
I’ll cut right to it. She has basically been doing the same thing that she has always been doing. Within the last few years, iJustine has continued to take on all sorts of varied roles in entertainment. In 2012, she was hired to be host of the reality television show “Escape Routes”. In 2014, she wrote a book. She continues to upload a variety of different content to her YouTube channel, which is currently approaching the three million subscriber mark. In recent years, as Let’s Play channels and video game streaming has become more popular, she has started to make more gaming-oriented content, as well. In March of 2016, iJustine played some of the Doom beta with Antonio Brown in Rooster Teeth’s livestreamed Day of Doom event.
Although she isn’t as hot of a name these days, iJustine still has quite the presence on YouTube. She was one of the first users to pioneer making a living on YouTube, especially in a format as personal as the vlog. If anything, her work in the past has built her a reputation of being one of the more well-respected and famous YouTube users out there, regardless of current popularity.