Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg –aka PewDiePie–is a Swedish Internet star with 4.46 million followers on Twitter. That would be a big deal, if that number wasn’t dwarfed by his 32 million YouTube subscribers. PewDiePie is the number one YouTube star. His videos have amassed an astounding 6.6 billion views. He began with interactive video game reviews focused on his mostly male audience which he calls his Bro Army. He has done a lot of charitable work, raising money for Save the Children, Charity: Water, and the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, among others. His popularity is unprecedented.
Beyond gaming, PewDiePie talks–or in this case sings–about the facts of life online, such as the “secret” that if you have boobs in your thumbnail picture people of all genders are about a zillion times more likely to click on it. His 3-minute YouTube video Boobs in the Thumbnail got a million views in just hours. (It’s at almost 3 million now three days later.) Crude and humorous describes Boobs in the Thumbnail and PewDiePie in general–and we don’t mean crude as a putdown (though he opens up that door), we mean crude as authentic in a DIY sense. Interesting note: PewDiePie is surprisingly sensitive for an online sensation, where thick skin is the price of entry. He turns his comments on and off and seems genuinely hurt by the hazing that goes on there. “When scrolling through ‘pending approved comments’ they are all so nice and supportive, but as soon as I turn on comments for a bit…it all goes to sh-t,” writes PewDiePie in two separate tweets.