Where Did YouTube Rewind Go Wrong?

by Justin Risher ’21

It’s been a tradition since 2011 for the $32 billion company known as YouTube to release a video at the end of each year on the website that recaps all the major events that happened involving YouTube and their community. This video combines every event into one video; hence the name “YouTube Rewind.” This year, YouTube released the newest addition of Rewind to its site hoping to give viewers a video that successfully highlights all the events viewers wanted to see. Instead, they gave them the complete opposite. The 2018 Rewind is now the most disliked video on YouTube’s platform ever with over 15 million dislikes. So what was it that rubbed so many viewers the wrong way?

For starters, the video title is called “YouTube Rewind” and its job is to combine moments that affected YouTube’s culture, popularity, and the platform as a whole. This should include favorable and/or unfavorable moments. Youtube failed to do this, managing to leave out some of the biggest milestones taking place on the platform in 2018; whether they were positive or not, they didn’t mention them at all.  For instance, the biggest Youtuber of all time, Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, also known as Pewdiepie, was not even shown or mentioned in the video even though he had just broken a YouTube record by gaining 7 million subscribers in 6 months. Another moment the video failed to deliver was the first payperview fight on YouTube’s site ever between the YouTubers Logan Paul and Olajide William Olatunji (also known as KSI). The fight was live streamed on Youtube on August 25 and was a huge success. However, there was no mention of this moment in the Rewind.

Even though YouTube tried to include lesser known content creators in the video, they sacrificed what the people really wanted to see. What the video did consist of was cheap, cringey, poorly scripted moments that were made to try and please everyone, when in doing so, they just made the viewers angrier. All and all, “YouTube Rewind 2018” should be a learning experience for YouTube. Perhaps next time it should not try and only focus on what the corporation thinks, but instead ask what the majority of the fans want to watch. YouTube tried something new; they tried to make itself look like this positive and safe atmosphere when in reality it isn’t that at all. It’s a site for people to express themselves, bicker, and write diss tracks on each other and that’s what makes it so popular and beloved by so many people.