With the end of the year approaching tech firms are releasing reviews of the year.
For many this means creating a video to showcase some of the bigger moments of the year on their platforms. Of course a lot of the time these videos gloss over the wider controversies a platform experienced.
And that brings us neatly to YouTube.
Last week the platform released its yearly Rewind video and while we weren’t exactly fans of it, the internet was incredibly displeased.
At present the video has an ever-growing 9.8 million dislikes and 2.1 million likes which translates into – YouTube’s 2018 Rewind being the most disliked video on YouTube.
That honour was previously held by Justin Bieber’s Baby.
What went wrong
Among the issues with Rewind that folks have made vocal is the inclusion of Hollywood actor Will Smith and Ninja who made his name on Twitch, not YouTube.
Other grievances include a noticeable lack of Pewdiepie (though the YouTuber’s 399 chair meme made an appearance) and no mention of creators such as Shane Dawson who had a fantastic year on YouTube.
We feel that Marques Brownlee put it best in a video he released yesterday addressing Rewind.
“They [YouTube] obviously are a company that has to make money and the way they do that is by pairing advertisers to content. So they started seeing Rewind as a place to showcase the best content on YouTube for advertisers,” Brownlee said explaining how Rewind has changed over the years.
“Fast forward to this era of brand safety and post ad-pocalypse, it has become more important than ever for this relationship between YouTube and advertisers to remain strong,” the YouTuber continued.
Toward the end of the video Brownlee voices the real issue wonderfully.
If Rewind is indeed an ad for the best of YouTube, the firm should stop trying to make it seem like it wants to be an inclusive platform for all when not everybody is included.
And that stings, especially when you take into account that precious screen time was devoted to people that aren’t even primarily on YouTube.
What YouTube has failed to do time and time again in my opinion is find a balance.
There is a market for edgy, adult orientated content just as much as there is a market for advertiser friendly content. However, the platform doesn’t seem to think that is the case and chooses to punish, or ignore it altogether.
Our hope is that in 2019 YouTube recognises that its platform isn’t just used by Fortnite streamers to post highlights or celebs hoping to break out of Hollywood.
Please YouTube, stop focusing on advertising for just a moment and fix the platform so that folks feel less like YouTube is for those that behave like good little drones in order to draw in advertising.
Rewind did lead to something great though. Former Rewind star Jacksfilms created this jam using Will Smith’s grunts at the beginning of the video, enjoy.