Rewinding the History of YouTube Rewind


Photo courtesy of Annie He

YouTube is one of the key aspects in social media and trends.

Anyone is able to upload videos with a diverse variety of content including gaming, appealing skits and blogging.

If a video garners enough attention from viewers, there is a chance of the video going viral.

Videos containing content that appeal to the viewers is the main attraction in YouTube.

Famous YouTubers such as PewDiePie, NigaHiga and Ninja attract part of the large fanbase that make up the accounts on this video streaming platform.

Founded on February 14, 2005, YouTube has been one of the world’s most influential forms of entertainment.

Beginning December 10, 2010, the establishment created an account called YouTube Spotlight to showcase the top 10 viral videos of the year.

And so YouTube Rewind was born.

The account posted its second annual installment on December 17, 2011 with another top 10 viral videos of the year.

In 2012, YouTube Rewind changed its format to a compilation sketch easily recognizable today: YouTubers and celebrities featured performing a sketch of the year’s trends.

2012’s YouTube Rewind became an instant success in part because of the famous “Gangnam Style” by PSY and the events performed by the YouTubers themselves such as Smosh mimicking the landing of the Mars rover Curiosity, Rhett and Link dancing in a Zebra costume and NigaHiga doing the Red Bull space jump.

The series seemed to be a lasting jewel in the YouTube community, with the installments from 2013 to 2016 upholding its reputation.

But, YouTube Rewind began to meet its downfall in 2017.

2017 was an extremely controversial year due to problems that occurred during the time including President Trump’s remarks on foreign affairs, mass-shootings and radical racial conflicts such as Charlottesville, as well as other conflicts that carried over unresolved from 2016.

These problems negatively affected a large portion of the YouTube community, which became bitter over the events of 2017.

As of today, the 2017 YouTube Rewind has 4 million likes, but over 2 million dislikes.

The 2018 YouTube Rewind added more fuel to the fire, following its predecessor, with 13 million dislikes and over 2.3 million likes.

The statistics were updated two weeks after the video was released.

The catalyst for the outrage revolves around events that no one asked for.

The 2018 video failed to represent the choice of trends from the year and poor execution utilized to make the content.

Fortnite is simultaneously popular and notorious among the gaming community.

The game is just as popular as it is disliked; the viewers who make the foundation of the video’s comment section dominates the criticism.

The Walmart Yodeling Kid, Baby Shark and Bongo Cat are outdated cultural points, yet were included in the video.

There are viewers who preferred seeing PewdiePie vs. T-series, the KSI vs. Logan Paul boxing match or Shane Dawson.

This choice is understandable as the company avoided controversial topics regardless of their popularity among the community.

Replacing them are people who are either underrated creators or celebrities who did not gain their fame through means outside of YouTube.

My view on the video is expressed through disgust and disappointment.

The only thing that I find entertaining is the video’s comment section which is full of negative criticism.

In the end, YouTube Rewind is nothing more than an ironic creation produced by the company that became its own undoing.