The YouTubers, who have more than 12.1 million in combined subscribers, come from a variety of genres. Ingrid Nilsen, a beauty vlogger who came out on her channel last June; vlogger Adanda Thorne, best known as sWooZie; and Smarter Every Day creator and engineer Destin Sandlin, will all speak with Obama in the White House East Room on the Friday following the address. They’ve each shared their excitement on social media and asking for questions using the hashtag #YouTubeAsksObama.
This is far from the first time YouTubers have engaged with the Obama. Last year YouTubers Hank Green, Bethany Mota, and GloZell Green interviewed him after the State of the Union address, drawing criticism from mainstream media outlets, followed by shock that the digital talent actually asked insightful questions.
The White House is further pushing into the digital realm with this year’s State of Union streaming live on YouTube, as well as the White House launching a Snapchat to go behind the scenes on the speech. So far, the media’s coverage has lacked the sensation and shock about digital stars getting a seat at the table, since during the past year their influence, especially with young Americans, has been proven.
YouTube will stream the State of the Union on Jan. 12 at 9pm ET, followed by the YouTuber sit down Jan. 15 at 2:15pm ET.
Screengrab via White House/YouTube