Update: The video reached 500,000 views during seventh hour on Nov. 28.
A video from Homecoming 2016 is nearing half a million views on YouTube. The video shows the cheerleading team presenting their dance routine to the student body during the Homecoming pep assembly. IL360 adviser Tim Morley discovered the staggering number of views while setting up a student as the social media editor for the online news site.
“For the past two years, I have been looking for the right person to run our social media presence,” Morley said. “It was just happenstance that I discovered how many views that video has had.”
The video is hosted under the il360.news Google account. YouTube keeps a wealth of statistics on traffic, so Morley was able to analyze how the video has gone viral. The video received only 544 views in the first three months it was posted. Traffic exploded in late August and has grown exponentially since, often reaching over 8,000 views per day on weekend days. It took about two weeks for the video to go from 300,000 to 400,000 views in the first half of November. The video had over 444,000 views on Monday morning, November 20.
“The Google analytics show that most of the traffic comes from California and Texas and is predominantly from teenage girls,” Morley said.
From the over 400 comments left on the video, it became clear what was happening.
“Most of the comments are from teen or preteen cheerleaders,” Morley said. “A lot of them are not complementary and brag about how their team is so much better than ours.”
The analytics also point to the likely reason the video has been viewed by so many.
“The numbers say that the average person is only watching the video for the first 2:04 or so,” Morley said. “Combining that fact with several of the comments tells us that cheer teams are watching the video because one of our stunt teams does not have a back spot. As more people watched the video, it climbed the list of suggested videos, reaching over 213,000 people just on recommendations coming from other videos.”
Several comments say that stunting without a back spot is illegal. While this may be true for competitive cheerleading, it can be allowed for the sideline cheer team.
“It’s not illegal according to the MHSAA and what we do as sideline cheerleaders,” senior cheer captain Tyler Bennett said. “If this were a competitive cheer routine, we couldn’t do it.”
Several Inland Lakes cheerleaders began viewing and commenting back after Morley showed the journalism classes the activity the video was receiving.
“I think the comments are hilarious. It gives me a good laugh,” Bennett said. “Especially all the nine-year-olds ripping on us.”