YouTube Rewind is an annual video series created and published by YouTube and Portal A Interactive. It’s an overview of the year’s viral videos and trends. Various YouTube personalities often make a cameo appearance.
The first YouTube Rewind was for 2010. It featured the most popular YouTube videos for that year. This year’s Rewind on December 6, 2018, titled “YouTube Rewind 2018: Everyone Controls Rewind” featured references to Fortnite and was introduced by Will Smith.
On December 13, 2018, the Rewind got the title of the most disliked video on YouTube, with 13 million dislikes, surpassing Justin Bieber’s song “Baby.”
So why is it that the perfect video recipe for success created by YouTube is also the most disliked video on YouTube?
The main problem is YouTube changed its formula. Instead of featuring YouTube stars like PewDiePie (the most subscribed YouTuber) or Logan Paul, who are controversial but well established on YouTube, they featured non-Youtuber famous people such as Will Smith, John Oliver, and Ninja (From Fortnite). It’s a growing disconnect from the YouTube community and a lean towards potential advertisers.
YouTube’s brand has moved away from PewDiePie despite the community’s support of him. PewDiePie’s influence on YouTube might have swayed people’s opinions as he trashes YouTube Rewind since he’s not featured in it.
Marques Brownlee, who was actually featured in this year’s YouTube Rewind, also had criticisms, pointing out the primary issue is that it was trying to please both the community and the advertisers.
While YouTube wanting to keep things more advertiser friendly is understandable as it continues to grow, cleaning its history is clearly not working. YouTube either has to make its ideal image of itself its actual platform (a dangerous task considering the community’s sentiment) or perhaps it could just stop doing the Rewind videos.
After all, the main reason YouTube was so revolutionary is that with it people no longer needed a tight corporate filter to advertise themselves to the world. It opened the doors for everyone without Hollywood contacts to become famous.