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HowToBasic is a tutorial YouTube channel featuring instructional videos on how to complete basic tasks. Although a handful of these videos actually complete a task, most of them are parodies of standard tutorial videos featuring over-the-top actions that often will involve smashing ingredients, especially eggs, creating large messes.
The first HowToBasic video was uploaded on December 8th, 2011, with instructions on how to pick up an umbrella (shown below, left). The 4-second clip shows a hand reaching out and picking up a white umbrella that is standing upright. As of February 2013, this video has more than 146,000 views. That day, two other videos were uploaded, each 17 seconds or less, depicting how to shut a door and save power. In January 2012, a Facebook fan page for the channel was launched, but it was not actively used until later that year. The channel lay dormant until March 26th, 2012, when a video instructing viewers on how to open a water bottle (shown below, right) was uploaded. On that day, the channel uploaded 93 other instructional clips, all under 43 seconds.
Of the 94 videos uploaded on March 26th, some of the instructions began to become more bizarre, with one video featuring soup recipe (shown below, left) using three different soaps and bread and another instructing viewers that the proper way to eat a cupcake (shown below, right) is to take bites and then spit them out on the counter.
On April 14th, the channel began regularly updating instead of uploading a large amount of videos in one batch. The videos also began to utilize special thumbnail images of delicious looking food the YouTuber would attempt to recreate (shown below), despite the recipes not actually creating the food. The videos also began to regularly incorporate smashed raw eggs and spilled liquids, emphasizing creating a mess rather than something edible.
By the end of April, the Facebook fan page for the channel had become active, accruing more than 48,000 likes as of February 2013. A Twitter account for the channel was also established that month, gaining more than 5700 followers in less than a year. On April 24th, 2012, a HowToBasic video was first shared on FunnyJunk. Hours later, the channel was linked on MetaFilter, receiving more than 50 comments. The following day, Guyism posted a slideshow of the 10 best videos from the channel, resulting in coverage on Uproxx, The Daily Dot and movie blog The Substream on April 26th. Over the next several months, the channel was also discussed on gaming forum NeoGAF, HTML Giant and College Humor. In December 2012, HowToBasic released an iPhone app compiling the channel’s videos that earned a five-star rating within two months.
As of April 2014, the HowToBasic YouTube channel received more than 3.1 million subscribers and 396 million video views.
Not much is known about the vlogger behind HowToBasic except that he is located in Australia. There have been four AMA (Ask Me Anything) requests for him to do an interview on Reddit, but he has yet to respond. In addition to Twitter and Facebook, the owner of the channel maintains an Instagram account posting both personal photos as well as highlights from his videos. He also has two other YouTube account: HowToBasic2 features bloopers and personal tutuorials featuring merchandise for the series (shown below, left) and The Fruit Smasher features less than 10-second clips of a hand smashing fruit (shown below, right).
College Humor – Spotlight: HowToBasic – The Messiest YouTube Channel