When it comes to living your love life in the public eye, ABC's "The Bachelor" is just the tip of the iceberg. A growing number of YouTube personalities are starring in their own homemade reality shows, putting their love lives on full display for the world to see.
Actress and comedienne Colleen Ballinger is a hugely successful YouTuber, appearing sometimes as her wacky alter ego Miranda Sings and other times as herself. With 4 million followers on Ballinger’s two channels collectively, over half a billion people have tuned in to watch her various posts.
Ballinger is engaged to Joshua Evans, aka JoshuaDTV. A singer and YouTube personality, Evans is a rising YouTube star in his own right.
The couple have video blogged, or vlogged, their relationship from the very first date. The video of Evans’ proposal to Ballinger has more than 2,600,000 views.
“It’s a marriage. I mean it’s real,” Ballinger told ABC News’ "Nightline." “We’ve just happened to be putting it on the Internet.”
“There’s just a lot of eyes. There’s a lot of people who are interested in different parts of your life,” Evans told "Nightline."
The vast majority of their audience, according to Evans, is between the ages of 13 to 21. Those young viewers get a front row seat for the couple’s romance, intimacy and the occasional conflicts that come with any love story.
Evans and Ballinger are by no means the only YouTube personalities who share their personal life with their viewers. The internet’s biggest YouTube star PewDiePie’s other half goes by CutiePieMarzia, and they also vlog about their relationship. Anthony Padilla from the hit channel Smosh just broke off his relationship with another popular YouTuber, Kalel Kitten, which they explained in a YouTube video.
Some take it a step further, putting their whole family into the mix. Britney and Austin Null, 25, known on YouTube as the Nive Nulls, have been vlogging for nearly five years, including through the birth of their two children.
“I know that a lot of people watch because of the kids, ‘cause they like to see them grow up. I mean they have been watching us … from the very beginning,” Britney Null, 28, told Wright. “So they almost feel kind of connected with the kids, like part of the family. So it’s cool and a little weird.”
Vlogging is a full-time job for them, but the Nulls get to be with their children full time and make a pretty good living.
“I used to get super offended when people are like, ‘You’re not doing this right,’” Britney Null said. “And I would be like, ‘I know what I’m doing. I’m a mom.’”
Evans and Ballinger also earn a good living through vlogging.
“How it works: it’s like I have a tour, so there’s, you know, some income from that. We have merchandise. There’s income from that,” Ballinger explained. “Then on YouTube, there’s ad revenue … so, you know, YouTube puts ads on the videos, and we need a little bit of that.”
The couple first met when Evans found one of Ballinger’s videos as her persona Miranda Sings and pursued her on Facebook.
“He saw one of my videos, and he thought, ‘There’s got to be more to this.’ So he found videos of myself with my sister on my Facebook page,’” Ballinger recalled.
But there are some things about their relationship you won’t see on their channel, including sex.
“No! That’s not that kind of channel,” Ballinger laughed.