Youtube Rewind last met the viewers in its well-known format in 2018. Policy changes within YouTube and the shifting focus from community representation to brand satisfaction would ultimately lead to this massive misstep. And Rewind would disappear forever amidst controversy, never to return again.
What Happened to YouTube Rewind?
Happy Creators Happy Platform
Once a simple compilation, when YouTube Rewind first started in 2011 it promised to be a yearly celebration of YouTube’s most prolific creators. And it made good on its promise for years. when Rewind became a massive production for the first time in 2012 and it was the talk of the town on the internet. This once a year event established itself to be a mainstay of online culture when it got even bigger to include even more creators in the subsequent years. It became a status symbol to be given a place in the illustrious YouTube Rewind. Creators raced each other in their respective categories to be included. Although it wasn’t ever without controversy, Rewind appealed to creator and viewer hearts alike and was thus accepted as the advertising campaign that it was.
While this once beloved tradition was already on shaky ground after a particularly controversial Rewind the previous year, 2018’s Rewind would be what put the final nail on the coffin. YouTube’s change in approach regarding community management was already being commented on leading up to the 2018 production. Creators were already rallying against its newly instated policies regarding brand friendliness. Creators thought, YouTube was prioritizing potential add revenue over creative integrity. And Rewind being YouTube’s most public display of attitude every year, many eyes would turn to it to judge the direction of the platform each year. And in 2018, doubters would regrettably be, vindicated. As the whole production seemed like a thinly wailed attempt at showboating YouTube’s new brand friendly image.
Failing to represent its community, and the general disconnect from trends meant that Rewind hadn’t kept good on its promise. It wasn’t a celebration of the diverse and massively creative platform anymore. The whole ordeal ultimately became a laughing stock on the internet. Involved creators were shunned online and left to deal with massive backlash. There were even rumors of appearing big-name celebrities pushing YouTube to remove the video entirely.
A Footnote In Online History
Following the fallout of Rewind 2018, Rewind wouldn’t continue in its known format. YouTube addressed the controversy, stating that they understood the communities wishes and would promptly return to showcasing diverse creators. But much to everyone’s dismay this understanding was proven to be misplaced. When the end of the year rolled around and it was time for Rewind 2019, viewers were met with an underwhelming experience. 2019’s Rewind, akin to the first rewind, was a compilation video.
“YouTube took no risks and took the easy route instead” many pointed out. YouTube had received a final warning to try and revive Rewind’s once beloved image. But they chose instead to strip it of its emotion entirely. And so it was, a soulless rewind and an unsatisfied community. All in the name of brand friendliness. YouTube tried to minimize risks to its brand image but instead hurt itself in its confusion.
A Push For Folly
After the disaster of a year that was 2020, YouTube’s announcement of no Rewind video for the year didn’t even make news. No one seemed to have the energy to care to rally for the return of what was now a disgraced tradition. No one but one creator. Known for his massive antics on YouTube, massive creator Jimmy “MrBeast” Donaldson announced that he would take the mantle of Rewind and bring it back to its glory days. MrBeast, a creator well known for his philanthropy efforts, ended up giving the best possible gift to YouTube’s community imaginable.
Following this frustrating year, it was a crumb of levity that every YouTuber ultimately deserved. MrBeast’s Rewind was met with great community acclaim but it was clearly meant to be a once in a lifetime occasion. As such an endeavor could only be pulled by the biggest of creators. And it also carried with it massive risks for the creator at the helm. MrBeast mentioned later that there was even a potential for a claim of copyright from YouTube regarding the usage of the word “Rewind”.
Gone And Forgotten
In 2021 the community produced Rewind is still an ongoing effort. But with no official plans to continue Rewind officially and no big creators interested in bearing the risks associated, it seems that Rewind is, all but forgotten.
As one of the most established social media platforms, YouTube holds a unique position in the social media landscape. Not only does it command the most number of users, but it also stands on a massively strong foundation of its own. YouTube, in effect, is internet’s sole source for video, its backlog, and its memory. And unlike its contemporaries, YouTube’s self innovation always brings results and contributes to its success. It is rare to see YouTube as a platform that makes mistakes these days, at least from a business standpoint. And that is why Rewind’s downfall is such an important wake up call for the platform officials. It must send the clear signal to those at the helm that, YouTube is not powerful despite its unique and sometimes risque creators but it’s successful because of them. Innovation to drive further revenue will always be one of the most important considerations for any brand. But if innovations are at the cost of core values, perhaps they ought not be taken. And perhaps Youtube might once again consider allowing you to Broadcast Yourself.
What did you think of Rewind 2018 when you first saw it? Do you think YouTube made the wrong call in ending Rewind forever? Let us in the comments down below. Don’t forget to follow our YouTube channel and to ring the notification bell. Also, Follow our socials and never miss any hot topics in the influencer marketing industry!