If you thought the 2018 YouTube “Rewind” video was a 'cringefest' then you are not alone. In fact, YouTube’s own CEO fully agrees with you.
In a new blog posting, YouTube CEO, Susan Wojcicki, took a moment to address the Rewind video and admitted that it was “cringey.” A point apparently reinforced by Wojcicki’s children when asked.
As part of the comments, Wojcicki also stated that it wasn’t the intention for the video to become “the most disliked video on the Internet” and that it didn’t reflect YouTube properly. Wojcicki added that YouTube will attempt to do better when the annual video review of the year rolls around again this year.
As is now customary with YouTube, the brand’s Rewind video launches at the end of the year and focuses in on the many trends and popular themes that were present on the platform during the previous twelve months.
At least, that’s is the idea. When the latest 2018 version of the video was released it very quickly drew massively criticism from viewers (and even content creators) due to its lack of tuning in to the real trends with those opposed to the video arguing it had become more of a brand exercise for the company over recent years and how this was best exemplified with the 2018 version.
As this sentiment grew, the video started racking up serious views and more telling, a serious number of dislikes. To the point where in a matter of days it had overtaking Justin Bieber’s “Baby” as the most disliked video on YouTube - and by association, the internet as a whole.
In spite of the Rewind video having been used to open the narrative in the blog post, the comments were only a small part of it overall, as the post was designed to provide some general feedback from the CEO on what was said to be a “unprecedented 2018” for the platform.
Other areas of YouTube’s year covered in the announcement included the growth of the platform and how the brand has been implementing changes to better deal with the “bad actions of a few individuals.” A point that likely refers to instances including Local Paul’s controversial video and also the issue of advertisers pulling their support for the platform due to their ads being shown on what were considered unsavory videos that contradicted the ethos of the advertisers.
The posting not only referenced some of the changes YouTube has already made, but also those the platform will continue to adopt throughout 2019 and beyond.
These were summed up in three main points. The first of which was better supporting creators by making sure the systems and tools in place for advertising does not impact as much on creators as before.
The second was improving communication and engagement in general to help build on the relationship between creators and the platform by introducing new and improving existing communications tools used between the two.
The third was YouTube’s commitment to live up to the brand’s responsibility. This will include improving access to factual and/or education-based content on the platform, while also more effectively removing content that is deemed to have violated the platform’s Community Guidelines.