Dear Social Blade Community,
Feb 8, 2017
It’s hard to believe that today marks 9 years since the day that I, Jason or as I’m better known as Urgo, registered SocialBlade.com and began this wonderful journey with all of you. I often get asked questions about Social Blade’s history and I thought today would be a good day to explain the story on how we got to where we are today, the number one place the Internet goes for YouTube statistics outside of YouTube itself.
Our story starts in 2007. I was working full time for a tech company and had begun creating videos on YouTube as well as started to see if I come become a ‘top digger’ on a website called Digg, which is basically what reddit is today, a social news site. Social Blade started as a hobby whose original function was to help submitters to digg figure out how many “digg’s” it took for a story to go popular and hit the front page there. While digg was the first site we launched statistics for, it has always been the goal to provide a service that helped people across all social media. I originally picked the name Social Blade because the site was supposed to be your social web site toolkit, a way to slice through the algorithms of social media to figure out how they work and grow.
Social Blade Digg Statistics in 2008 quickly became the go to place for anyone involved in Digg from the submitting and media outlet side of things and even was talked about by the founders of Digg during their town hall events, but there just wasn’t enough of an audience to do much more then have the site be a hobby for me. In 2009 I started a live stream + youtube show with some others from Digg called the Social Blade Show but that too had only a cult following.
Though I have been a YouTuber myself since 2007, it wasn’t until 2010 when I started a group called The YouTube Orbit (among the first major groups of daily vloggers) and was daily vlogging myself that I started to really use YouTube daily. For the YouTube Orbit I had started playing around with the YouTube api but had been using a third party website for youtube stats.. until all of a sudden the owner of that website shut it down saying ‘too much drama, shutting down for good’ so over the weekend I created the first version of the YouTube stats for Social Blade replicating all of the functionality I used there as well as some new things. The site started growing but still it didn’t quite have that massive community we have today.
Then one day it happened. It was Feb 17th, 2011, a few days after Social Blade’s 3rd birthday. Since the Social Blade Show hadn’t taken off we decided to end it and had pre-labeled the final episode that day to be called “Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end” after a favorite song of mine. Little did I know that years later I can point to that date as the date we began our journey from hobby to company. What happened was a channel called videoamt, a huge channel in Germany at the time gave Social Blade YouTube Stats a shout out, our first big shout out, and month over month for years we’ve seen massive growth since then.
The rest of the story has basically been a dream come true; not without its challenges for sure; but still, a dream come true. A year later as traffic to the site kept on growing, I had stopped daily vlogging but after leading the community of 200+ of the early daily vloggers, helping many of them become YouTube partners, I approached Maker Studios, a then prominent, but small in partners network and asked them if they wanted to do what turned into being one of the first massive mcn’s. By the time Maker sold to Disney Social Blade partners made up around 1/5th of all the partners in Maker, not too shabby!
As a result of the partnership deal with Maker, by fall of 2012 Social Blade was finally ready to become a company. I still wasn’t quite ready to quit my day job, that would come in early 2013, but in Oct 2012 Social Blade became Social Blade LLC and I brought on a contractor to help with the support tickets that had started to become too much for just me. Fast forward a couple years and sadly the honeymoon with Maker was over. Though we had brought many of their top partners into the network they simply weren’t on the same page with us on most things. In April of 2015 we broke ties with them and have been working with BroadbandTV instead running all partner operations together and it’s been night and day better. We love the team and leadership over there and we each help each other out.
With all that being said, many people think of Social Blade as a network first that also has stats but that simply is not the case. Though we love our partners and spend a great deal of time helping them succeed, Social Blade has always been about helping everyone succeed too, no matter if you’re a partner of ours or not. In fact, pretty much every MCN uses Social Blade and we always keep our stats network agnostic not favoring anyone in the rankings. We believe in transparency and providing the Internet with a site that you can trust when comparing channels, networks, etc.
Then the other thing is, in 2017 we are in a world where mcn’s are not always the most desired thing to be a part of anymore. As a result we offer many services to cover those creators needs as well. We launched consulting and channel management services back in 2014 where creators can either sign up on a one off basis, or monthly service to go over their channels with a fine tooth comb and figure out how to optimize.
At the end of the day, though our main storyline is with YouTube, we also provide statistics for Twitter, Instagram, and Twitch with more planned to roll out this year all with the purpose of helping creators do their job better by having access to information to make their jobs easier. Things may have started as a hobby of mine in 2008, but thanks to the wonderful support of all of you, since 2014 I have been proud to call Social Blade my dream job, a job where myself and my team will do everything in our power to help you. I hope my story can show you that success doesn’t happen over night but if you believe in something keep working at it, and reinvent yourself as needed, but don’t give up!
Thank you for your continued support,