Well, we can certainly say that we didn't see this one coming. Grayson and Ethan Dolan — aka the Dolan Twins — are two of the most recognizable faces of YouTube stardom. The 21-year-olds first gained fame on the now-defunct app Vine, but they transitioned to making YouTube videos. They've since profited off of their joint channel.
After purchasing a $2 million home in 2019, fans expected that the brothers would be expanding their vlogging empire. But, after a sit-down interview with Shane Dawson in October of 2019, they announced that they were growing tired of doing daily vlogs, and that they were interested in focusing on other ventures.
In August of 2020, the brothers appeared on the Impaulsive podcast, and they further elaborated on their shift in image.
Are the Dolan Twins quitting YouTube? We're breaking down their past emotional interview with Shane Dawson, what they said to Logan Paul, and how they want to devote attention to their own podcast.
The Dolan Twins often talked about the possibility of leaving YouTube.
After doing their documentary-style series with Shane in 2019, the Dolan Twins were open about how big of a toll YouTube was taking on their life. The brothers have been a part of the platform for more than six years, and together their channel has nearly 11 million subscribers. While it's afforded them many opportunities, they didn't shy away from the hard parts of what that means for their life off camera.
In the video, Ethan and Grayson announced that "a change needs to be made" and that they'd be taking a step back from their channel for the time being. The brothers said that the pressure to post a video to their channel every Tuesday had them feeling burnt out, and prevented them from growing personally.
"We have to stop posting weekly videos," Ethan announced. They also noted that they've been doing weekly videos since they were 14 years old.
The two then opened up about how the commitment to their channel has shifted the relationships in their lives, and how they haven't been able to live as teenagers for years.
"I've lost a lot of friends and stuff, and even in like relationships," Ethan said. "I can't have a life."
Grayson and Ethan did say that they would continue to make videos, but only when they felt passionate about the subject matter. They said that they would not be releasing videos on a set schedule, and they've stuck to that promise.
Though the brothers have posted dozens of vlogs since their sit-down with Shane, they are doing so on their own time.
Grayson and Ethan said they feel like they play a "character" in their vlogs.
The famous YouTube duo appeared on the Aug. 20 episode of Impaulsive alongside host Logan Paul, and they noted that they still aren't fully comfortable with where their channel is going. Though it had been more than 10 months since they sat down with Shane Dawson, Ethan and Grayson admitted that they still felt like they were putting up a facade when they vlog.
"It's hard to find the balance of what you want to film and what the fans want to see," Ethan explained on the podcast.
"We've been talking about it and having deeper discussions about what the f--k to do," Grayson said. "We've come to some realizations about how we haven't been living our lives as dudes."
They said that they even considered retiring all together at one point.
Later in the podcast, the two noted that they're not being authentic to themselves when they vlog.
"I feel like I've become trapped in my 17-year-old body as soon as the f-----g camera turns on because this is what my audience likes. I have to turn it on," Ethan continued.
They said that they've struggled to figure out how to change their vlogging style as they've aged up. Though their fanbase has also grown up with them, they're still unsure of how to translate this in their videos.
The duo officially announced they would be stepping away from YouTube in 2021.
During an episode of their podcast, the twins announced that they had officially made the decision to leave YouTube. The episode, posted on Jan. 14, outlined why the pair made this decision.
“We are not moving on from YouTube because we have a lack of appreciation for you guys,” they said in the video, according to Dexerto. “Your support over the past six … years of our lives has been … I can’t even explain the level of appreciation we have for you. Really.”
This announcement marks the end of the twins' regular upload schedule, but the pair will not be leaving their online platforms entirely. They clarified that they would still be uploading regularly to their podcast, which is likely where you'll get to hear what bigger and better things they eventually decide to pursue.
While the announcement was saddening, it did not come as a surprise to many fans, who acknowledged how long Ethan and Grayson had been feeling this way.