}

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

YouTube Rewind 2018: Everyone Controls Rewind


The video above is the annual “rewind” video from YouTube, this year introduced by actor Will Smith, who is not a YouTuber (and, at 50, seemingly a little old to be one…). I said about last year’s “Rewind” that it was “apparently a colourful amorphous blob that doesn’t actually have any point.” This year’s is the same, but has a sort of structure, and a bit of a focus.

As has been common in recent years, I don’t recognise most of the YouTubers included in the video (they’re all listed in the video description on YouTube and also on a separate page called “2018 Rewind Creators”, which links to each of their YouTube Channels). In fact, out of the dozens listed, I only recognised 8 people from four Channels: The AsapSCIENCE boys, Casey Neistat, Sam Tsui, and The Try Guys.

The video’s theme is people controlling this year’s “Rewind”, and, as they say in the description, “All comments featured in Rewind inspired by real comments from the YouTube community.” So, technically, the video has a point: The “YouTube community” determines not just what’s in the Rewind, but also what YouTube is. Personally, I think that point is kind of muddled, but it’s there nevertheless.

In addition to Will Smith, this year’s rewind also has other non-YouTubers I’m familiar with—Marshmello, Adam Rippon, John Oliver, and Trevor Noah—all of whom (apart from Rippon) I’ve watched on YouTube. No, that doesn’t make them YouTubers, because they create stuff for other media, and it may be posted to YouTube, too. I don’t recall a “Rewind” video having so many non-YouTubers before.

I liked this year’s Rewind more than last year’s, but that’s probably not saying much, considering how much I disliked the 2017 version. Still, it’s an improvement, right?

Still, everything else aside, what makes these videos interesting is that they’re a sort of time capsule about what videos people were into in a year. Well, maybe it’s just what people in the “YouTube community” were into. That’s still something.

It would be nice if they made one that was a little more accessible for the rest of us, though.

Related – Previous posts about YouTube Rewind videos:
YouTube Rewind: The Shape of 2017
YouTube Rewind: The Ultimate 2016 Challenge
YouTube Rewind: Now Watch Me 2015
YouTube Rewind: Turn Down for 2014
YouTube Rewind: What Does 2013 Say?

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