YouTube Rewind, the company’s annual end-of-year tribute to creators, trends, and moments that defined the platform, will not happen this year.
The company issued a statement acknowledging that “2020 has been different,” adding that “it doesn’t feel right to carry on as if it weren’t.” This marks the first time Rewind won’t happen since YouTube started the annual celebration in 2010. Although Rewind has become somewhat of a joke to the creator community in recent years — it became the most disliked video of all time in 2018 — it’s still a staple of YouTube’s culture, even if people are just using it to dunk on their own videos. To be fair, even CEO Susan Wojcicki admitted they’re a little cringe-inducing.
“We know that so much of the good that did happen in 2020 was created by all of you,” YouTube’s statement reads. “You’ve found ways to lift people up, help them cope, and make them laugh. You made a hard year genuinely better.”
While many people were stuck at home because of the pandemic, YouTube saw surges in usage as more people spent time streaming video online. By the end of March, views on videos that centered on “with me”-stylized content (get ready with me, work out with me, study with me) saw massive increases in viewership, according to the company. Live-streaming also picked up on YouTube as well as on other platforms like Twitch and Facebook.
YouTube did not say if Rewind will return for 2021. Like everything right now, I imagine it all depends on what the future brings. All I know is I’ll miss YouTube’s annual attempt to try to celebrate the good on its platform (especially when there’s so much bad), and the inevitable reaction videos from creators explaining in detail just how wrong YouTube got it again.