Jennelle Eliana is living the van life and documenting that life on YouTube. While the new YouTube star might know plenty about surviving in a small space, her newfound YouTube stardom is still fresh. In fact, the 20-year-old content creator managed to amass over one million subscribers in just a few short weeks. She didn’t do it by posting every day, either; in fact, she passed the one-million mark with only two videos. So how did Eliana rise to fame so quickly?
Who is Jennelle Eliana?
Elliana is a new YouTube sensation, plain and simple. The 20-year-old California resident decided to ditch her traditional digs in favor of a 1995 van. According to her most recent video, she spent several months outfitting the van in her workplace’s parking lot so she could avoid paying high rent.
Eliana explains that she picked van life because she found herself to be rarely at home, meaning she was paying a premium for an apartment she rarely spent time in. By living in her van, she’s cutting down on her bills and has more free time to travel and enjoy her 20s while still working.
Eliana posted her first video on June 26, and it has since garnered nearly 7 million views. Her second video posted on July 11 now has almost 13 million views. Her third video, a Q&A, was posted on July 26 and had nearly 4 million views just five days later.
Jennelle Eliana might be new to YouTube, but she’s not new to social media
Eliana burst onto the video content scene less than a month ago, but she’s not new to social media. Eliana has been chronicling her lifestyle for over a year. She’s grown her Instagram channel to include nearly a quarter of a million followers.
While no one can deny that Eliana’s videos are entertaining, well-produced, and polished, her rise to fame has struck even the most seasoned YouTube viewer as strange. According to TubeFilter, some fans believe an anomaly in the algorithm that suggests videos to users glitched and overserved Eliana’s content to the masses.
Viewers believe there is an anomaly in the algorithm
Back in January, the video platform fixed a bug that recommended unrelated videos to users, but some believe the problem never really went away entirely. When a new content creator joins the platform, their videos are inherently linked to similar content, sometimes by far more popular content creators. It’s a great way for content creators to garner an audience, but back in January, the recommendation went completely haywire, according to The Verge. Some viewers have theorized that that is what happened with Eliana’s content. Essentially, the algorithm gods smiled upon her.
Reddit fans think there is something more calculated going on. One fan suggested that Eliana is a “plant,” meaning she had contact with YouTube prior to going live, which would allow her channel to enter the recommendation boxes of many users. Some users are even suggesting they never subscribed to her manually, but somehow are considered subscribers.
Regardless of what is going on, Eliana’s content is interesting and feeds heavily into current day interest in digital nomads. YouTube has suggested the sustainability angle might be the reason for unprecedented success, according to TubeFilter.