At the end of every year, YouTube releases a video called YouTube Rewind. YouTube Rewind is a video that recaps all of the biggest moments, trends, and stories of the past year. It’s basically a yearbook for 2017, in video form. As YouTube becomes bigger, so does YouTube Rewind. Apparently, this year’s video included over 300 personalities and stars.
Some of the U.S. based stars included Casey Neistat, Marques Brownlee, Grace Helbig, Lizy Koshy, Rhet & Link, Logan Paul, and Phil DeFranco. Then you also had international YouTube personalities as well. It also includes TV stars who have made a big impact on YouTube. Last year we had James Corden for carpool karaoke, but this this year, we saw Stephen Colbert. Music is such a huge part of YouTube as well, which is why the videos are always set to a remix of the year’s biggest songs. That’s why this year’s video, titled Shape of 2017, was a mash up of Despacito and Shape of You. You can see the whole list of the people who participated here, courtesy of YouTube.
The video also featured viral trends like the Salt Bae meme, fidget spinners, and eclipse glasses.
The core concept behind these videos has always been wonderful. YouTube makes the world a smaller place by connecting people through shared content. Seeing it all at once in the ultimate collaboration is always touching. Not only did this year’s video show highlights, but it also spent some time on news and audio clips from some of this year’s tragedies. It then emphasized how people around the world were still able to come together and persevere.
While I do appreciate the scope of the video and the desire to include as many people as possible in a 7-minute long video, I did think this year’s video creators overreached a bit. Every Rewind video gets some form of criticism from people who either feel like their favorite YouTuber was excluded, or people who feel like some of the ones in the video should not have been included.
This year though, I think the primary issue was that there was too many people in too short a video. A lot of these personalities were given single frames in the video, before it immediately blurred, cut, or transitioned to another equality short feature. It was jarring and impossible to register faces, or keep up with the video because of all the jumps, cuts, and poor editing. If the only way to see something is by using YouTube’s slow motion feature, it was poorly done. I think if they reallocated some of the runtime certain people got over others, it would have made it easier to watch and more balanced. Ie: not have fidget spinners get 10 seconds of the video.
That said, it’s still definitely worth a watch to see if your favorite personalities made the cut. And to relive some of the moments from the year. Watching Rewind videos from previous years always brings about a wave of nostalgia, a longing for a past, but also anticipation for the future.
Here are some more stills from the video.