A technical communication variation of the hugely popular YouTube phenomenon of “Let’s Play” gaming videos is soaring in popularity.
“Let’s Help” videos, recordings of instructional video footage, include accompanying audio commentary by a user in real time. Sometimes they also include video footage of the user, usually to capture reactions (for example, gouging their eyes or anything else that will cause less pain than what they’re seeing on the screen).
The popularity of “Let’s Help” stems from the fact that people don’t have to actually buy a product to be entertained or disappointed by the instructional video that accompanies it. Simply watching others watch instructional videos has turned into a new professional spectator sport with a huge audience. Whether it’s HowToPie or any other notorious creator, thousands of people subscribe to and watch these videos, which can range from five minutes to several hours.
Experts believe that these videos are nothing more than a source of entertainment and information regarding instruction quality. They are fun and give a direct insight into the actual usability of instructions instead of reading someone’s thoughts about them in an Amazon product review or on Twitter.
Sources tell us that the STC is currently in the process of building a whole site around livestreaming “Let’s Help” videos, set to launch by the end of 2015.