Meet the creator who has been dominating YouTube for the past decade

IJustine On Youtube

If there was ever a social media celebrity, it's Justine Ezarik. The digital creator has been one of the first viral personalities to have received their start on YouTube. In 2006, she started her now famous channel, iJustine, as a way to find a community who loved tech as much as she did. Since then, she's discovered platforms at their infancy, becoming a leading figure in the Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube space. And in the past ten years, she's been able to build a brand that's synonymous with fun content that ranges from tech product reviews to cooking fail videos. And she does it all with a comical, well-educated voice that her fans can never seem to get enough of.

Ezarik's impressive resume spans more than just YouTube video views -- but if we are counting, she has more than 476 million of those. She has also written a book titled "I, Justine" and has tried her hand in traditional acting, including a stint on "Law and Order: Special Victims Unit" and hosting gigs on E! News and NBC.

But as her career grows, some things remain the same. Ezarik still writes, films, and edits all of her videos, is always on the lookout for the best new tech inventions, and still delivers the same punchy and infectious commentary that put her on the map a decade ago. She's been able to do the seemingly impossible task of staying true to herself in an industry that completely thrives off of change.

We recently sat down with the woman behind iJustine, Justine Ezarik, to talk about her time in the industry, how she's seen social media transform since iJustine's inception, and more! Ahead, find out how she first got her start on YouTube, what her creative process looks like, and what she feels is the biggest change to YouTube.

YouShouldKnow is a feature that showcases up-and-coming social stars. To see more of past interviews, including more iJustine exclusives, click here.

Where did your love of tech and social media first begin?
Tech was first because when I was super young I loved taking this apart and seeing how they worked. So I definitely loved tech and when I was young, social media just wasn't a thing. In sixth grade I started making my first website and started to get involved in the internet sharing and creating. I was making websites for people; that was my job in sixth grade, getting paid to make a website. Just from there, I always wanted to see what was next. Since I grew up kind of in the middle of nowhere, there wasn't a ton of people to talk to so the internet was a thing that brought me out of my shell and brought me together with people who share the same interests.

You've been in the social space since it's infancy. What has that been like for you?
It's been really amazing to see the way people use those platforms and see them grow. I've used so many apps that don't even exist anymore -- also had so many t-shirts from companies. I had a drawer full of failed start up t-shirts. So it's been cool to see what has stuck, what has been evolving, and how those platforms have changed the world. Like, Twitter, there's such an instant feedback and learning tool, but it just started out as answering the simple question "What are you doing?" Now, it's making such a huge impact.

Do you remember your first video?
I do. I go back to it sometimes and wonder what I was thinking. I say that about a lot of videos that I post and a lot of my friends on YouTube will make those first video private but I have not done that. I want to everytime that I see them, but for me I feel like it's nice to go back to see what I was doing then. And the reason I even started making videos was so that I could remember things that I've done. So it's a timeline of my life.

It's been 10 years since you first started on YouTube.
Everyone loves reminding that! It's been such a long time...

But what's so incredible about that is that YouTube changes every second. But you've seen it evolve over the course of a few years.
Yeah! I think that to do be able to do anything for 10 years, you have to really learn how to evolve. I have a friends who need to switch jobs every few years doing something new, and in that space you can do that because there's so many different jobs and opportunities out there that if you're not trying to bounce around and figure things out, you won't be able to find what you're passionate about. And as far as how it's changed, everyone knows what it is. Back 10 years, everyone thought it was so weird to be posting videos on YouTube. It was just fun. And I was creating a brand before I knew what a brand was and didn't even realize I was bringing together a community of people. My channel has just grown into what it is. I don't like calling it a job because I still enjoy doing it. But it's non-stop work. I'm always Snapchatting, on YouTube, and really it becomes your whole life.

What does your creative process look like? How does a video of yours come to life?
It's different for everything. Especially for cooking videos, I try to do a couple of them in a day. So I'll plan it properly, because I'll still shoot and edit everything myself and that becomes very time consuming. If I'm doing a cooking video while I'm making a cake, I know I'll have 30 minutes to start the next video, so I'll switch my t-shirt and start filming the next one. And once that second cake is baking, I know I'll have 30 minutes to decorate the first one and I could have also been making something that's a no-bake, so in between the cooling of the second one I'll do that. And cleaning up is just at the end and push it all off to the side. The creative process is different for anything. Sometimes I'll wake up and decide I want to film something that day or decide that I don't want to talk to a camera that day. You have to find that balance of how is it working for you, and that's really a work/life/relationship balance. It is hard to find, but I think you have to distance yourself and realize that sometimes you just can't make videos. It's an emotional process to have those conversations. It's so hard to explain, but it is very emotional. Sometimes you just don't want to open up that day.

In the YouTube space, you see a lot of specialized creators. But your videos run the gamut in terms of genres. Why is that?
I have so many interests and I get bored easily. For me, I would get bored doing one single thing. So as soon as I find something else that I can start getting into, I will start making videos of that. I think a lot of people's channels are what they're into and what they love. So for beauty vloggers, they'll just do beauty because that's what they love. But I love entertaining, cooking -- terribly of, course -- eating food, travel, technology, so I love doing those types of videos. It's one of those things where you never know what the next day will bring and for me that's exciting. For my audience, if you ask them "What kind of videos does Justine make?" they would respond the kind of videos they want to see.

YouShouldKnow is a feature that showcases up-and-coming social stars. To see more of past interviews, including more iJustine exclusives, click here.

And for more past YouShouldKnow stars, scroll through the gallery below:

YSK Social Stars
See Gallery
YSK Social Stars
What are you looking at ๐Ÿ‘€๐Ÿ˜‚
How I look every day because life is too short to not have fun with yourself ๐Ÿ™†๐Ÿป
Move the way you want to move ๐Ÿ’ƒ๐Ÿผ
This is my face when someone mentions food!๐Ÿค“ Releasing a new video tonight! Can't wait!โค๏ธ
Shooting a new vid for you guys!! Uploading Wednesday!!!๐Ÿ˜โค๏ธ๐ŸŽฌ #teamworkmakesthedreamwork
It's the most wonderful time of the yearโค๏ธ๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ
"Mom she won't let me have a sip of her Capri Sun" -6 year old nerf gun loving Brent to 6 year old polly pocket obsessed Mere NEW VIDEO IS UP W/ @brentrivera ๐Ÿ‘ซ Link to watch is in my bio! โค๏ธ
Adventuring with friends at the beach ๐ŸŒŠ Pretty sure this house was haunted... not to mention the door was open. Something you guys don't know about me is I am the most savage ghost hunter around nothing scares me and I mean nothing ๐Ÿ‘€ Do you believe in ghosts? ๐Ÿ‘ป
Bonjour, je m'appelle Meredith. Comment t'appelle tu? Out of my 3 years of studying French this is one of the only things I remember ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ‘‹
AHH!!! We hit 3MILLION subbies today!! ๐Ÿ’ž๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿ˜ญ๐ŸŽ‚ I love my #macbabies so so much!!! You all mean the WORLD to me!!! Our family is growing so much! Thank you for allowing me to just be my awkward self. I love you and I can never thank you enough for all the opportunities you've given me!! ๐Ÿ’ž๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽ‚โœจ๐Ÿ˜ฑ
i like pink doors โ™ก video going up soon! ahh who's excited?!? link in my bio! also, what's your fav color?! hehe ๐Ÿ’žโœŒ๐Ÿผ๏ธ๐ŸŽ‰
until next time thailand โ™ก ps...guess who just uploaded a vlog!! you get a sneak peek of my final room decor!! ahh! also, how did you find my youtube channel? i'm so curious! ๐Ÿ’ž๐ŸŒŽโœŒ๐Ÿผ๏ธ
i just wanna travel the world โœˆ๏ธ where should I go next ?๐Ÿ˜‰
so ready for halloween ๐Ÿ‘ป SOOOO, I just uploaded a brand new HALLOWEEN VIDEO!! Click the link in my bio to watch!๐ŸŽƒ
eye see you ๐Ÿ‘€ Ps: thank you all for your amazing and continued support. I want you all to know how much I love and appreciate you so much. xoxo
Have you seen my new video yet!? It's all about music festivals so make sure to check it out on my YouTube channel! + there's some friends in itโ˜บ๏ธ
My new video is dropping today!!! Can you guess what it'll be..?๐Ÿ˜—
u like em crazy babe don't u
the #londonhasfallen premiere last night ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง
when the waiter passes your table with food
Love him ๐Ÿ’•
Fun fact : purple and orange teacups are the fastest! :)
Pink paradise ๐ŸŒด
Once you see it, you can't unsee it
PROUDEST PUPPY MOMS EVER ๐Ÿถ๐Ÿถโ˜บ๏ธ @karminmusic @garykarmin @djminimatt
โœŒ๐Ÿผ๏ธboomโœŒ๐Ÿผ๏ธ (photo:@markdohner)
WE OUT HERE AT THE #KCA's and the inner child in me is screaming.
trying my hardest to be "fierce"....
Welcome to slime history @rebelwilson !! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‚ #KCA2016
2 0 1 6 - #HAPPYNEWYEAR on the water 2-5~6
We love taking walks, no phones, just talking about life. If you can, make time every week to take a 30-minute walk with a friend or a loved one. It's a cool way to get to know each other on a deeper level!
Leap year gives us all 24 extra hours to #DayItForward! Weโ€™ve teamed up w/ @Chevrolet to send love to #UsTheFamily - check out our Twitter feed tomorrow!!
Have you heard?! We're joining our friends @ptxofficial on the first leg of their World Tour this Spring! Click the link in our bio for tix, or visit :) PUMPED to meet some new and current #UsTheFamily members!
NEW VIDEO: Creepy Things Girls Do ๐Ÿ˜‚ Comment a, "๐Ÿฌ" if you've watched it/will watch it
Guess who's birthday is in 5 days?? (No it's not Dylan O'Brien) ๐Ÿ˜Ž
I came here to live life like nobody is watching โฅ โ™ก
Happy Valentine's Day lovesโค๏ธ
Did you catch the latest blog post on the blog (link in profile)?? Who else loves afternoon tea?? // ๐Ÿ“ท: @torrancecoombs #TheAListIreland
Dorky smiles + a photobomb by some serious woman with a serious collar ๐Ÿ˜œ๐Ÿ˜œ #HereCoombsTheBride
Soft curls and red lips ๐Ÿ’‹ // ๐Ÿ“ท: @torrancecoombs
Every girl ought to have a pair of nude suede pumps! Nothing like New shoes Monday with @mgemi. Get more details on #liketkit #lovemgemi
On the streets of Paris in red and how I style my street style looks for fashion week revealed on #thechrisellefactor today! Direct link in bio ๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป ๐Ÿ“ท:@karenrosalie_
Rendezvous in Paris in Pink on #TheChriselleFactor today. Direct link in bio ๐Ÿ‘‰๐Ÿป
Your not ready for this #chromat #nyfw #teamthis
We run THIS show #HBDWang #rkobh #teamthis
When it's "chilly" out ๐Ÿ˜œ #ootd
ATL tonight ๐Ÿ˜
had the King of LA @yg come through last night ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿฝ
If you guys saw how I looked before you would think it was magic ๐Ÿ˜ฉ๐Ÿ˜ญ My beautiful makeup for #kca by @beautybydianalomelin ๐Ÿ’ซ
Winding down with @SkinnyMintCom ๐Ÿ˜Œ #TheOriginalTeatox #ad
Eating all that sushi finally turned me into a mermaid! ๐Ÿ˜ญ for @projectmermaids #saveourbeach Photography by @angelinaventurellaphoto Hair and Makeup by @ljbeauty Bra by @edwordgarcia Sponsored by @sexyhair Project Manager @crissycrissybobissy
If you know me well or have read interviews Iโ€™ve done then you know that @marthastewart has always been my biggest inspiration when it comes to food. One of my goals is to be a combination of my two idols- Martha and Andy Warhol. As a child I would dream about spending the time and care like her to prepare a table, creating something very special for people to join around and share a meal. Watching her cook inspired me to teach myself how to hand weigh ingredients, to always have my mise en place organized, how to pronounce words like vichyssoise, and her wide usage of produce variety is honestly a large part of where my curiosity for our food sparked from. With this said, Iโ€™m sure you can imagine my surprise when I was told that I was one of the 25 creatives @marthastewart is inspired by in celebration of their 25th anniversary. Thank you for helping me think and dream so big Martha, I am honored to share this and to make you all of the colors. #25yearsofmartha #foodgradients
I wanted to take a moment to reintroduce myself. Iโ€™m Brittany and I recognize that I seem to do a decent job of not sharing much about my actual self here or in interviews. I prefer to keep my art about the food and not myself. This community and my photography have become the biggest part of my life, I love it more than I have words to explain but there's more that makes me who I am. So for a quick moment hereโ€™s a bit- Iโ€™m 24, a taurus, live in Seattle but grew up in San Diego, my favorite food is a cheeseburger (super thin patty, toasted bun), my favorite bands are @stygoc and @metric, my first tattoo was the one on chest- itโ€™s still my favorite and says โ€˜love your lifeโ€™, something many people sadly forget. I was raised by my grandparents, I love to make small collections of items like rocks and stickers, I grew up playing a lot of sports competitively, I love Star Wars and have Boba Fett tattooed on my arm but Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is my favorite movie. Many times I have been told that being an artist โ€œcanโ€™t be a real jobโ€ and that I was wasting my time trying to do so. I smile everyday not because I proved them wrong but because I achieved a goal. Dream big, everyone.
Thought I might start this week off with a past candy photo. Here's to hoping you all have the best days ahead! #foodgradients
Kรถln!!!! Didn't pronounce your name right on stage but... You were AMAZING. Only a couple shows left in EU-- next up, London... (๐Ÿ“ท: @annamaria_langer )
Practicing our Spanish with @tvtelehit Mexico ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ
Sam wants to play Jack & Rose in Titanic but Casey's all "nah i'm good, have fun tho mang"
We drove 28 hours to get to Canada. The jeep is still running๐Ÿ’€๐Ÿ˜
The Dallas episode for @heyusax is the funniest yet! Go watch it now on @go90 now!๐Ÿ˜„๐Ÿ˜„
Keep lookin up.
That's a wrap #E! #Oscarafterpartyshow ๐ŸŽ‰

More from
Fashion influencer Chriselle Lim is poised for world wide web domination
Meet the former Miss USA turned fashion blogger, Alyssa Campanella, who is dominating NYFW
YouTube star Michael Buckley talks his famous YouTube channel, his favorite video to make and more!

Read Full Story

From Our Partners