It’s the kind of unflinching honesty that you probably wouldn’t expect from the CEO of a big-name company, but YouTube boss Susan Wojcicki was candid in the extreme this week when she admitted that even her own kids thought YouTube’s Rewind 2018 video was awful.
The 2018 edition of YouTube’s annual recap quickly became the most disliked video in the streaming site’s history, and to date has prompted more than 15 million people to hit the down-vote button.
In a blog post assessing the current state of the video-streaming site, Wojcicki celebrated various milestones achieved over the past year (for example, channels with more than a million subscribers almost doubled in 2018), but at the same time acknowledged that not everything had gone to plan.
“One record we definitely didn’t set out to break was the most disliked video on the internet,” Wojcicki wrote. “Even at home, my kids told me our 2018 Rewind was ‘cringey.’ We hear you that it didn’t accurately show the year’s key moments, nor did it reflect the YouTube you know.”
But in a comment almost certain to tempt the more mischievous members of YouTube’s community to set a new down-vote record with this year’s Rewind video, the CEO promised: “We’ll do better to tell our story in 2019.”
A quick look through some of the comments for Rewind 2018 suggested many people had been put off by the video’s “cringey” skits that featured many of the year’s most popular YouTubers.
One commenter wrote, “If YouTube was really like this, I would never visit this site,” while someone else said, “It is unbelievable how disconnected YouTube has become with their audience.” Another commenter summed up the video in just three words, writing simply: “I feel uncomfortable.”
The absence of PewDiePie, whose more than 75 million subscribers make his the most popular channel on YouTube, was also a big factor as to why so many people hit the dislike button.
Looking ahead and hoping to forget the disaster that was Rewind 2018, Wojcicki said that this year YouTube is focusing on offering more support to creators and artists, improving communication and engagement, and creating a more responsible service. Hopefully, Wojcicki will consult her kids about the next Rewind video, too.
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