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Here's where YouTube's first massive stars are now

Look at them go.

Image: Tyler Oakley via YouTube

10 YEARS HAVE passed since YouTube officially launched, ushering in the age where anyone with a camera could post videos to their own personal channel.

In celebration of its 10th anniversary, we’ve rounded up some of the stars who have been there since the beginning.

These YouTube stars were incredibly popular back 10 years ago, and they still have fan bases numbering in the millions today.

Here’s what they’re up to now.


In 2005, Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla — or Smosh, as the duo is known — uploaded a video of them dancing along with the Power Rangers theme song.

Source: Smosh/YouTube

Smosh now has more than 20 million subscribers, and their first feature-length film will premiere in July.

Source: Smosh/YouTube

Freddie Wong

When Freddie Wong started his YouTube channel in 2006, he focused on making short action films with a dose of comedy.

Source: RocketJump/YouTube

These days, Freddie is best known for his action show, Video Game High School, which recently completed its third and final season on YouTube.

Devoted fans donated more than $900,000 to a Kickstarter campaign that funded the most recent season.

Source: RocketJump/YouTube

Michelle Phan

Michelle Phan started her beauty YouTube channel back in 2006.

One tutorial, where she shows how she uses make-up to transform herself into a Barbie, has more than 61 million views.

Source: Michelle Phan/YouTube

Phan now has more than 7.7 million subscribers, her own make-up line, a book, and a lifestyle network called Icon.

Source: Michelle Phan/YouTube


Justine Ezarik — or “iJustine,” as she’s better known — launched her YouTube channel in 2006.

A self-professed techie, her first viral hit was a video of her going through and commenting on her 300-page phone bill.

Source: iJustine/YouTube

She now has more than 2.27 million subscribers, and her videos have been viewed 369 million times.

She just released her first book, I, Justine, which tells the story of what it’s like to document your life on YouTube.

Source: iJustine/YouTube

Ryan Higa

Soon after launching his channel in 2006, Ryan Higa became one of YouTube’s first huge stars.

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Source: nigahiga/YouTube

Ryan still posts several comedy videos a week, and he has more than 14.6 million subscribers.

He was one of the first YouTubers to get more than 1 billion views on his videos.

Source: nigahiga/YouTube

Grace Helbig

Grace Helbig started posting vlogs and silly lip-sync videos to YouTube in 2006.

Source: Grace Helbig/YouTube

Nearly 10 years later, Grace has her own show on E!, and her memoir topped The New York Times’ best-sellers list in October 2014.

Source: Grace Helbig/YouTube

Tyler Oakley

Tyler Oakley started posting his daily thoughts to YouTube in 2006.

Source: Tyler Oakley/YouTube

These days, Tyler has more than 7.08 million subscribers.

His videos about coming out have inspired a younger generation of YouTubers, including beauty and fashion guru Ingrid Nilsen.

Source: Tyler Oakley/YouTube

Read: This YouTuber demonstrated the power of makeup by transforming just half her face>

Published with permission from:

Business Insider
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