YouTube Power Couple's Breakup Video a Phenomenon

David Dobrik and Liza Koshy praised for 'mature' handling of situation
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2018 3:51 PM CDT
Updated Jun 8, 2018 1:00 AM CDT

It's 2018, which means that when a 21-year-old and a 22-year-old who have become YouTube stars together break up, they don't—they can't—do so privately. And that's how a six-minute video in which popular comedy vloggers David Dobrik and Liza Koshy tearfully discuss their split became, on Wednesday, the top trending content on YouTube. As the Verge (which calls Koshy and Dobrik "one of the most visible power couples on the platform") explains for those unfamiliar, Koshy rocketed to YouTube stardom thanks to prank videos often filmed at stores, while Dobrik's popular video blogs often featured him and Koshy goofing around. Thanks to the intensely public nature of their relationship, it was necessary to come clean to fans about their breakup, which happened six months ago but about which they didn't feel ready to vlog until now. They had been together since 2015 and have a combined 20+ million YouTube followers, the BBC reports. Their breakup video, appropriately titled "we broke up," has received more than 22 million views so far. The coverage is fascinating:

  • The breakup itself: Dobrik says in the video that Koshy broke up with him because she felt they were growing "distant" due to their busy schedules, with which he agreed. Koshy said she also realized she needs to learn to love herself before she can truly love someone else, acknowledging through tears and laughter that the idea is cliche. Both stressed multiple times that they remain best friends. The Huffington Post calls the video "six minutes of forced humor and genuine sadness."
  • The internet age: Many outlets are commenting on how breakups have evolved thanks to the increased intermingling of the social media lives of romantic partners. "Lovers in 2018 have to think about what it means to merge your brand with someone else’s," writes Patricia Hernandez at the Verge. Meanwhile, CNET re-ran its 2017 article, "When breaking up is a public affair," in light of the breakup. And Men's Health went with the headline, "These YouTube Stars Made a Break-Up Video Because Modern Dating Is Super Weird."
  • The public is brokenhearted: BuzzFeed has a sampling of social media reactions to the breakup, like one person who says it ruined their whole year. And here's Elite Daily's headline: "Liza Koshy & David Dobrik's Breakup Video Has Emotionally Destroyed Me, Goodbye."
  • Why so devastated? The New Statesman explains "Why David and Liza are the Ross and Rachel of the digital age," noting that their breakup is the type to lead people to wonder, if these two people can't make it work, "what hope is there for the rest of us?"

  • Will this impact their brands? A social branding expert tells the BBC he doesn't think their earnings will be hurt by this: "I don't see the break-up being a negative thing for either of them," he says, adding that he doubts there will be any "backlash."
  • Case in point: StudyBreaks says the video is being praised for its "authenticity" and "maturity."
  • Not just YouTube: Dobrik and Koshy also addressed their breakup on Instagram (here and here) and Twitter (here and here).
  • Getting back together? There's already talk of a reunion, with a source telling Hollywood Life that friends and family members of the couple are urging them to give their relationship another try.
  • Another big announcement: The day after the breakup video, Koshy posted another video announcing the premiere of her upcoming YouTube series, "Liza on Demand," JustJared reports.
(More YouTube stories.)

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