• In a video published at the end of February, YouTuber Inoxtag announced his intention to climb Everest in 2024. Many netizens criticized his challenge, denouncing it as a dangerous and irresponsible project.
  • Because in the face of competition, content creators are challenging themselves to get more and more spectacular, even dangerous, challenges to get views.
  • Some, like Squeezie, decided to slow down, denouncing an overbidding.

After challenging himself to survive alone for a week on a desert island (a video that has 15 million views), then to spend 24 hours in the high mountains (3 million views), it is in a project of a completely different dimension that Inoxtag, the YouTube star with 6 million subscribers, is embarking. In a video published at the end of February, the 21-year-old, a specialist in ever more incredible challenges, announced his intention to climb Everest in 2024. "Today, even though I love my life with the Internet, I want to do something I feel incapable of. I want to achieve a challenge that may seem unconscious, but that I have been dreaming about for a long time," he said.

If some fans rejoiced at this news, encouraging the youtuber, others were worried about this project. And there's a lot to it. Because Everest, aka the highest peak in the world, is more than 8,800 meters to climb. And every year, between the risk of avalanches, lack of oxygen, cold and injuries, many mountaineers - sometimes even professionals - lose their lives. If some prepare all their lives for this extraordinary physical exercise, Inoxtag, he - Inès Benazzouz, his real name - leaves only one year of preparation.

ahah Mount Everest when you have pro mountaineers who train all their lives to get there but fail and there are some who think it will reach the summit?

— Paul Miller (@MygosL) February 25, 2023

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"For this challenge, my life will have to change this year. I will have to train tirelessly to be able to achieve my goal. I have a precise schedule throughout the year to keep, with more than 10 peaks to climb, in order to get the right to climb Everest. Many of you have questions, worries or others say it's impossible. It will be difficult yes, and a whole team will be there to supervise me on my preparation to be safe in the mountains, for me and for others, "he tried to reassure.

Outbidding among youtubers

If this "project of a lifetime", as Inoxtag says in his video, has aroused many reactions, it is also because it signs the paroxysm of a trend that has existed for several years on YouTube: that of "always more". Like the Grand Prix Explorer, organized by Squeezie, the most followed streamer of France with 17 million subscribers. Last October, twenty-two web stars competed at the wheel of real Formula 4 cars on the famous Bugatti circuit in Le Mans. An extraordinary event that was held in real conditions: real track, mechanics, engineers or judges.

But under real conditions, real risks. You will probably not be taught anything by telling you that the discipline, just like mountaineering, is extremely dangerous. To minimize the risks, each of the participants underwent several days of intensive training at the circuit, driving lessons and training provided by the French Federation of Motor Sport. During the race, one of the drivers, YouTuber Joyca hit the edge of the track after a turn, destroying part of his car. Another accident occurred a few hours later, when two vehicles collided. More fear than harm, but a little reminder about the risks of this sport.

But why are Squeezie, Inoxtag and other YouTubers looking to do "more and more"? Simply because in the world of content creation, competition is fierce, says Caroline Mignaux, creator of the Marketing Square podcast: "There is a one-upmanship. It's no longer enough to turn on your webcam to make the audience, you have to diversify, do the spectacular, look for the extraordinary. »

Challenges, the DNA of social networks

It must be said that in a decade, the number of content creators has literally exploded, forcing videographers to compete in imagination - or risk-taking, as desired. "Before, we knew pretty much all the youtubers. Today, they are enormous, we discover them every day. The audiences are so large that there is a lot of demand, so inevitably, there are a lot of offers. You have to be visible in all of this. To be visible, you have to sensationalize, stand out," says Jonathan Condessa, strategic planner at the Otta agency. Especially since the remuneration is no longer the same as at the beginning of YouTube, adds the specialist: "Before, it was more advertising that paid off. Now it's the brands. But they require new content to stand out and make views. It's a circle. »

However, this race for challenges is far from surprising Caroline Mignaux, because it is not new. "Social networks are natively based on challenges. This is the case for all platforms and it has existed for a long time, especially on Facebook before. Challenges bring virality." And in addition to the competition on YouTube, videographers have to compete with those on TikTok. And one of the trends of TikTok – as 20 Minutes explained a few weeks ago – is the dangerous challenges. "YouTubers have to align themselves with this to reach out to young audiences," adds Jonathan Condessa.

It is the challenges that seem unachievable that work best, continues Caroline Mignaux. "It's in the DNA of the challenge to prove that we can meet it. They say it takes a lifetime to climb Everest, Inoxtag's challenge is to show that this is not the case," she says. And if content creators are embarking on the race to sensationalize, it is also a question of time, analyzes the specialist. "That's one of the hallmarks of this generation. It is known to value skills at the expense of experience. It is the generation of all possibilities. And inevitably, it has the flaws of these qualities."

A rhythm impossible to keep up

But wouldn't this quest for the sensational also be a sign that the platform is running out of steam? This is in any case the theory of Jonathan Condessa: "YouTube is a platform that works in cycles. At first, we had facecam formats, with Cyprien and Norman, then video games. Now, what works are short films. But this content has become super-produced, because it pays a lot. The race to sensationalize shows that you are coming to the end, at the end of a cycle."

A gruelling pace for some videographers, "to whom YouTube requires to post content on a very regular basis," laments the specialist. Recently, mega star Squeezie denounced this system, announcing "needing to do simpler stuff". "You can't just do huge formats all the time," he said during a Twitch live, citing as an example his cult format Who is the imposter?. "We don't realize it, but the video with Eric and Ramzy is three and a half weeks of editing," he explained, adding, "if all the videos I make have to be in this line, my teams and I will do a giga burn-out."

For the specialist, it is necessary to wonder about the future: "This is the moment when we must ask ourselves questions. When do we say stop? Is it the role of the spectators not to watch? Is it that of YouTube that endangers creators with an algorithm too demanding or that of videographers who should not be in a race? ». Inoxtag warned: "I will take as few risks as possible. I'm going to surround myself properly," he explained on Popcorn. People know me as a stubborn person. But if I have to go back down because it's dangerous, I'll go back down. Maybe I won't make it to the top. But even if it's a failure, it will be beautiful and I would have tried. »

  • Tech
  • By the Web
  • YouTube
  • Everest
  • Video
  • Grand Prix F1
  • Squeezie
  • Audience