YouTube announced that they will be ending their annual Rewind videos after years of criticism and backlash.
YouTube Rewind, started in 2010, is a yearly recap video of all of the site’s trends, popular, and music, featuring top creators on the site. The videos have become some of the most viewed (and disliked) videos on the platform. They are a yearly tradition and a staple within the YouTube community.
The company decided not to release a Rewind for 2020, stating that “But 2020 has been different. And it doesn’t feel right to carry on as if it weren’t.”
Pandemic concerns, as valid as they are, seem to be an excuse to cancel the series, as the Rewind videos have consistently received some of the harshest criticism on the site.
2018’s Rewind became the most disliked video on the platform and holds that title today. Many felt as if the video was pandering towards advertisers rather than featuring the community of users and top creators.
Anxious to avoid the same hate from the previous year, YouTube made 2019’s Rewind as simple and non-controversial as possible by simply making a compilation of the top videos of the year, throwing out all the bells and whistles of the normal Rewind. The change still managed to bring on heavy criticism from users.
Though this is the end of the Rewind series, the site still plans to release yearly recaps in a different format. The stated on Twitter that they plan to “refocus our energies on celebrating you and the trends that make YouTube [fire emoji] with a different and updated kind of experience – stay tuned.”
There are no further details on what this new Rewind experience will be just yet, but YouTube plans to turn to creators to fill in the blanks. Whatever the company decides to do, it would be in their best interest to try and avoid controversy.