Vietnamese woman’s YouTube channel cooks up a storm of subscribers


The Ba Tan Vlog, featuring Nguyen Thi Tan cooking, has been ranked third in YouTube’s top 500 most subscribed channels in 24 hours.

Grandma Tan. Photo courtesy of Ba Tan Vlog Facebook page.

Nguyen Thi Tan as seen in a photo on Ba Tan Vlog Facebook page

A Social Blade report says she has won over 130,276 subscribers in 24 hours, following an education channel in India (341,405 subscribers) and Vietnam’s Yeah1 channel for kids (221,770 subscribers), according to certified YouTube statistics collected by Social Blade as of last Saturday.

The most watched video published on Tuesday last week follows Tan’s making of a gigantic 60-liter bubble tea which had attracted more than 6.7 million views at the time of publishing.

Other dishes cooked in copious amounts by the 58-year-old woman include Vietnamese fried fish balls (4.4 million views) and a spicy hotpot (four million views).

Tan’s running commentary, “this must be the biggest bubble tea cup in Vietnam” or  “I have never cooked such a big dish in my life,” seems to have struck a chord, with thousands responding positively to her reminder that viewers like and support her channel.

Her channel has been active since February 2018, but the first video was only published on May 4.

With a total of 21 videos, Ba Tan Vlog (Mrs. Tan Vlog) has collected over 61.8 million views and 1,475,874 million subscribers in the last 25 days. This equals approximately 57,000 people subscribing to her channel every day.

According to Social Blade stats, the channel launched by the native of the northern Bac Giang Province is also fetching between $18,100 and $289,500 a month.

Ba Tan Vlog’s cover photo reveals her diminutive stature. She weighs 32 kg and is 1.1 meter tall. Her Facebook page has gotten over 316,000 likes.

One of the channels linked to hers is the Hung Vlog which belongs to her son and has over 1.2 million subscribers. 29-year-old Nguyen Van Hung publishes videos that document daily experiences like buying a motorbike for his sister and trying a water motorcycle for the first time. His channel also promotes staged story lines with moral messages.

He has been helping build and develop his mom’s channel, resulting in its viral popularity.

Tan told local media on Sunday that the idea of the channel was suggested by him. She is in charge of cooking, while Hung and another son help with filming and online marketing.

Grandma Tan poses with some of her fans. Photo courtesy of Ba Tan Vlog Facebook page.

Nguyen Thi Tan poses with some of her fans. Photo courtesy of Ba Tan Vlog Facebook page

Surprised village

Nguyen Van Ky, head of the Chua Village where Tan lives, said he was surprised to see how popular a person they only know as a farmer has become.

“Tan is a sociable person and liked by the people here,” he said.

Tan’s videos don’t show substantial investment in filming technology or fancy cooking tools, but they have each garnered between one to six million views.

Most comments on her videos say how uplifting, simple she is as a person and fun to watch. Many accounts find it amusing that a woman her age is outstripping in popularity other younger vloggers on Youtube with more contemporary, youth-focused videos like dating, make-up tutorials, and motivation messages.

But there are also comments that disparage the channel for being boring, superficial, and not helpful.

As of January 2019, Vietnamese were spending almost seven hours online a day on average, of which 2.5 hours were spent on social media across all devices.

YouTube and Facebook, with 96 percent and 95 percent of Internet users who report using each respectively, are their most active platforms, according to a report by We Are Social. Vietnam has 62 million social media users in total.