Youtube messed up really bad on this year’s Youtube Rewind. For those who don’t know what’s up, Youtube Rewind is an annual video produced and published by YouTube as a way to showcase new and familiar faces alike in YOutube culture and ramp up everyone ahead of the New Year.
It is, right now, ranked as the most disliked video on the entire platform.
At the time of writing this article, the video had already received 10 million dislikes. This is more than Justin Bieber’s 2010 song “Baby” that previously held the title. But this particular comparison is a little unfair - although Bieber’s video managed to get just fewer than 10 million dislikes, this happened over a period of eight years.
While 2018’s YouTube Rewind video has only been up for eight days.
YouTube Rewind is meant to be an innocuous video that would probably be used to appeal to advertisers and other users on the platform. However, many people feel that in effect this approach doesn’t put community users first, which explains why the backlash this year has been so huge. People feel that the video is a perfect indication of the growing disparity between the creator culture on the platform and the polished, more professional version that YouTube feels appeals more to advertisers.
YouTube did acknowledge in a statement that the backlash was a little bit unexpected. A representative from the video-sharing service said that sometimes “honest feedback can suck” but even then, the company maintained that it’s taking every comment and viewpoint regarding the new video seriously. YouTube also stated that it’s practically impossible to fully capture the magic of the platform in a full year using just one video.
Just to understand where this backlash is coming from, let’s head back to where it all began.
YouTube created Rewind for the first time in 2011 but it was a very different approach. The video was narrated by Rebecca Black, made famous by the song “Friday”. The entire video was simply a creative breakdown of 10 of the most watched videos on the platform. It was basically a highlight reel of what was popular over the 12 months under review. This was the same approach the company took until 2014.
Starting from 2015, the video-sharing platform started to move away from the amateur DIY creators to a more refined entertainment platform. Despite this, there was still an effort to bring in creators and their content into Rewind.
However, from 2017 and now 2018, things completely changed. Amateur creators on the platform who made some of the most popular videos were ignored in favor of more established entertainers or content creators.
In essence, YouTube ditched what community members loved and looked forward to each year in favor of what advertisers created. The discontent has been clearly captured even in the comments under the video. People are confused and don’t understand why their favorite creators are not included in this year’s Rewind.