2016 Youtube Rewind

How Youtube Rewind shaped up this year



The logo of Youtube who sponsors the rewind every year.

Every year since 2011, Youtube has put out a video in December called Youtube Rewind. In this rewind, the video takes us through the events of the year on Youtube, social media, talk shows and the world in general. This year’s rewind, titled The Ultimate 2016 Challenge, was released at 10 Pacific Time on December 7, gaining nearly 50 million views in 24 hours on the original video and nearly 3 million on similar videos including the behind the scenes one. This year Youtube expanded further across the globe in their rewind, beyond Europe, Japan and the United States, creating a very diverse video to represent Youtube’s globalism. However, even with all of this, The Ultimate 2016 Challenge did not meet Youtube Rewind’s regular excellence and misrepresented 2016’s people and events.

First off, they tried too hard to mention too many trends in the review of the year and almost completely disregarded global events. The mass of overwhelming references to every single somewhat major trend made the video difficult to follow and created a chaotic mess that detracts from the quality of the video. In past years there is a clear defined path to follow from trend to trend that helps the viewers look back over the year. This year, they abandoned this style and tried to flood the viewers with trends leading to it becoming an overhyped flop.

Also, because of this excessive use of trends, Youtube failed in reviewing what happened in real life around the world. Usually, major news events will make their way onto Youtube which is mentioned in previous rewinds, but they almost ignored them. They did have a scene dedicated to the Olympics which is very important, but they still missed very critical parts of 2016 in world events. They missed the election between Trump and Clinton which drew international attention and had hundreds of videos on Youtube with millions of views. Also, they missed the Chicago Cubs winning the World Series for the first time in 106 years which blew up on social media overnight as fans celebrated the end of their championship drought.

Finally, Youtube never even hinted at the biggest meme of 2016: Harambe. While some dislike how the Cincinnati gorilla blew up on social media for several months, it is an undeniable part of what happened in 2016. Because of Youtube’s complete failure to accurately represent all of Youtube and 2016 as a whole, this already makes it a huge disappointment.

Moving on, Youtube’s music was a complete let down from previous mashups done for the rewind in previous years. The music suffered the same curse of the social trends where it was too chaotic sometimes that it sounded more like people slamming some stuff together haphazardly and hoping it might not kill anyone’s ears. The music was almost to the level of uncomfortable obnoxiousness where it would seriously damage someone’s hearing if listened to through earbuds. Also, the music is usually what carries the video from scene to scene; however, this year’s track failed miserably in that department. Many times the music would abruptly change from an extremely fast and excited song to a significantly slower one, making the transition sound very messy and unprofessional for Youtube. Overall, the music not only failed to redeem the video from its flood of trend, but made it more messy and less enjoyable to watch.

With these things there were some parts that Youtube was extremely successful in. Youtube very well was able to capture the scope of the international community it has become, including Youtubers from India, Latin America and Eastern Europe which breaks farther out than last years where they only recognized Western European and Japanese Youtubers alongside the United States’. Also, the production value and editing done on the video was superb. Every year it has gotten better and better in this department, and 2016’s only followed that progressive trend. The effects done by the people working on the video and the different scenes and props used helped redeem the review of 2016 somewhat, but not totally.

All of this together, this year’s Youtube Rewind may not be the best one ever produced, but it does have some redeeming qualities that help it not be the worst ever. Out of the six rewinds done so far this one would rank at about fourth or fifth. 2016 has been a rough year for many people and that now includes Youtube Rewind. But who knows what they could do to redeem themselves next year? There will always be a bad year occasionally because that is how it works today. We will just have to wait until 2017 to see what Youtube can do to bounce back from this.