So, I just watched YouTube rewind for 2018 and I have a lot to say. First of all, if you don’t know, YouTube rewind is a video the site makes every year to commemorate the biggest events on the site for that year. Usually it predominantly features the biggest content creators, new up and coming content creators, memes and popular music. I genuinely look forward to rewind every year, it’s a chance to look back at the best moments and have some nostalgia. Apparently, they don’t want that for us any more!
Let’s look at one of the most skewed things about this years rewind, the confusing choice of people involved and people not involved. Pewdiepie, the sites biggest content creator, currently with a whopping 74 million subs and counting, who has held that title for 5 years did not feature. It’s a massive slap in the face. What kind of a thank you is it to not include someone who’s bringing so many viewers in? Granted, he had a poor year last year with a lot controversial, messy content (in my opinion). But that was last year. He has had an incredible time in 2018, his content has really shined and he’s getting more and more popular every day thanks to easily the biggest sub count battles in YouTube history: Pewdiepie vs. T-series. You would think that the most influential person on the site would at least make an appearance but no. We got his chair, animated by Jaidenanimations (bless her soul) but not so much as a second of his actual face. It’s like doing an appreciation video for authors and not involving J.K.Rowling.
Shane Dawson wasn’t there, another confusing choice since he made perhaps the biggest YouTube series the site has ever gotten, a look into the mind of another YouTuber Jake Paul. Yes, the series got a lot backlash. Yes, it was quite controversial. But on the whole, it was mind blowing, interesting, entertaining and the amount of time and effort that went into it was incredible. It literally changed YouTube and it’s content forever. It was easily one of the craziest things that happened on the site this year and it didn’t even get featured. I know that he doesn’t usually like to be featured in things like this but at least a nod to it would have been nice.
However, who can forget everyone’s favourite YouTube star, Will Smith? Yes, that’s right! You all know and love Will and his difficult rise to fame on the site… no? He’s not even a youtuber? He was already a celebrity? He’s probably never edited a video in his life? Oh. *cough* Well, at least there’s Ninja, who could forget him, huh? What’s that you say? He’s literally famous for making it big on a streaming site called twitch? Which also happens to be one of YouTube’s biggest competitors? Playing a game that also got famous on twitch? Hmmmm…
I watch a lot of YouTube. I can’t seem to go a day without it. I’ve accepted that in most rewinds, I don’t know a lot of people featured, it’s a BIG site. But I felt like I hardly knew anything in this years rewind. To find out, I actually watched the previous rewinds and marked down how many things I recognised. ….And, to be fair, in all three rewinds, I marked 32 things. So, I obviously recognised the same amount of things, the problem was, the things in this years rewind didn’t make as much impact on me as the previous years. Whilst watching the other videos, I’d mark down things and think “aaah, yeah, that was great” and remember being involved in the thing in some way as a viewer. Compared to watching this years and thinking “Yes, I recognise it.” That was it. I recognised things but hardly ever did I know the name of what I was marking, and hardly ever did I know why it was in there.
Basically, what I’m trying to say is, being relevant is more important to me than anything else. It seems that whoever made rewind this year, didn’t even watch the most popular YouTube content. They didn’t actually pay attention to what the people want even though that was the whole premise of the video (which they totally took from Dan and Phil’s tour and didn’t even feature them for it). The other rewinds made me happy and nostalgic (for the most part) this years rewind just made me angry. There’s always going to be things that you personally want in rewind and you always have to go in there not expecting much but this took the biscuit.
Then, *sigh* there’s the bit where some youtubers are around a campfire talking about all the things they think were worth a shout-out. Like Asian representation, working Mums, women, Mental health ect. YouTube is very obviously just trying to pander to the audience here and, just like all the other times, it doesn’t work. It just upsets people, or at least me. I don’t like it when companies try to shove things down my throat. I’m speaking as a woman with mental health issues, two of the things spoken about here. I’m not saying it’s not important to talk about these things but I’m saying a YouTube rewind video is not the place to do it. It’s just so obvious that they’re only including things like this because they know that the site will gain favor with more mainstream media and as a person who finds two of the things mentioned here relevant to them, I honestly find it insulting. I’d rather they spent their time and money actually doing things towards these issues elsewhere on the site. It was so over the top, random and unnecessary.
For me, rewind should be the site’s way of saying “thank you” to the creators, topics and viewers that gave the most to the site. After all, YouTube would literally be nothing without it’s creators or content. And it’s because rewind itself is an advertisement. This was what YouTube thought you SHOULD want to see, according to advertisers who are going to be financially supporting the site. Which makes little sense since advertisers wouldn’t be funding the site if it didn’t have any content so to have such little nod to the actual content is very strange. You only have to look at the like to dislike ratio on the video (currently 877K likes, to 1.8M dislikes) to see that they didn’t “give the people what they want” at all and marketing it as such is just insulting.