Skip to main content

Obama will chat live with YouTube's biggest stars following State of the Union

Obama will chat live with YouTube's biggest stars following State of the Union

Share this story

If you buy something from a Verge link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

President Obama has frequently tapped into new and social media to get his messages out to younger audiences, and this year, he's actually sitting down with some of the biggest stars on YouTube to make sure those messages are heard. Next Thursday, two days after the State of the Union, Obama will sit for interviews with Bethany Mota, GloZell Green, and Hank Green, whose channels collectively have over 13 million subscribers. Mota is one of YouTube's biggest breakout stars, and her fashion channel has received a ton of promotion from YouTube. Hank Green is one half of the vlogbrothers channel — the other half being The Fault in Our Stars author John Green. GlozZell Green hosts a comedy channel. The interviews will all be conducted live from the White House.

What does Obama think of Bethany Mota's clothing line?

While the YouTube stars will be asking the questions, they won't necessarily be writing them. They're going to start collecting questions from fans using the hashtag #YouTubeAsksObama, with the intention of collecting questions that are important to their specific subscribers. Some topics that the stars suggest in a promo video include racial profiling, net neutrality, and unemployment. The general idea is that the questions will be relevant to the policies that Obama outlines during his State of the Union, which is being presented Tuesday evening. BuzzFeed reports that the White House won't have a say in what questions the YouTube stars are asking.

This is the sixth year in a row that the White House has turned to Google to talk to Americans following the State of the Union. In previous years, Obama has used YouTube and Google+ Hangouts, but this is the first time that celebrity hosts have been brought in. It's likely to be a win for both the White House and YouTube. YouTube has been making a big effort of promoting its most successful hosts over the past year, and an event like this will only legitimize the hosts and YouTube as a platform even more. For Obama, it's a guaranteed audience, and it's likely to include listeners who wouldn't otherwise tune into a video chat.