YouTube has released 2018’s YouTube Rewind and it’s a disappointing mess of advertiser-friendliness, brushing any controversies under the carpet, and of course, Fortnite.
YouTube Rewind is YouTube’s attempt at looking back at the past year on the platform. While previous years have been… interesting, this year’s attempt pretty much misses the mark entirely, so much so that at the time of writing the video has 4 million dislikes to 1.4 million likes.
It’s been quite a year for YouTube but you wouldn’t think that with YouTube Rewind 2018 which pretty much glazes over some of the platform’s biggest moments this year. Of course, 2018 began with the Logan Paul Suicide Forest controversy (despite the video being uploaded in December 2017) which caused advertisers to become a little wary of the platform, but then we also had Shane Dawson’s incredible comeback.
Dawson spent the year almost reinventing his channel releasing several-part mini-series’, the most notable of which was the 8-part series on Logan Paul. But were they in YouTube rewind? Nope. We also had the phenomenon that was Jonny Jonny Yes Papa, Boxing Matches, and of course, the split between Liza Koshy and David Dobrik.
Was this in YouTube Rewind? Hell no… Okay, Koshy was, but Dobrik, who again, has become pretty big on the platform over the past year, wasn’t. Now, it’s worth noting that all of these people may have been approached by YouTube to be a part of YouTube Rewind – much like Philip DeFranco but turned it down. Dawson in the past has also shared his dislike for YouTube Rewind, also.
Of course, controversial faces on the platform such as Logan Paul, Jake Paul, PewDiePie, and KSI, who were all pretty highly talked about throughout the year, were nowhere to be seen.
What gets me though, is that this year it seems to dig up faces that haven’t been overly relevant on the platform in the past year, like Casey Neistat, Lilly Singh, and Caspar Lee. Though the trio has begun working on the big screen over the past year so perhaps that’s why?
Fortnite also struck it big in 2018, there’s no doubt about that, and of course, YouTube Rewind hangs heavily off of the dick of that trend with the video being almost 60% Fortnite-themed, from the battle bus to Fortnite Dances. Not to say that this is necessarily a bad thing, the game is massive and of course, it should be mentioned, but to base the entire video around Fortnite. Come on.
Frankly, this year’s YouTube Rewind is a disaster with the only good part being Will Smith’s part in the video. Smith joining the platform probably the only real moment from 2018 worth talking about…
YouTube Rewind has become less of a celebration of the platform its created, and more of a sizzle reel for advertisers who are frankly being sold a platform that, in reality, doesn’t exist. It’s not all lollipops and rainbows, the video even jokes about “Let’s read the comments” something people know to avoid when on YouTube.
While YouTube does feature all of the above (obviously), it also has many more creators that offer grittier content that may not be considered advertiser-friendly, but are far more entertaining than the slate of P.C. creators it has on offer in the video.
As someone who has been watching things on YouTube since the late 00s, it’s disappointing to see the company miss the mark by such a great distance, and frankly it’s insulting to those of us who have put time into the platform that seems to be killing any ounce of creativity that isn’t sellable to advertisers.