YouTube Review 2014

YouTube Review 2014

The end of the year is approaching, and it’s time for endless lists quantifying the most important events that shaped 2014. But the midterm elections, ISIS, and ebola are not what powers the world of the internet. No, YouTube has managed to sum 2014 up in their annual Rewind video.

Over the years, the short mix has become important historical documentation – a way of collating hours of procrastination into a five minute song and dance.

This year’s Rewind features viral videos and personalities, varying from the demon baby, to endless covers of Let It Go, to Jimmy Kimmel and Conan O’Brien.

Here are three of the biggies that have changed the face of YouTube in our YouTube review 2014.

1.The Ice-Bucket Challenge

It may have annoyed some of the less self-righteous internet users, or those who don’t have the guts to douse themselves in freezing ice, but there’s no denying that the ice-bucket challenge was effective. Nearly $100 million was raised for the ALS foundation in just one month, and hundreds of millions of people became aware that the condition existed. It also united us common folk in partaking in the same challenge as YouTube stars, celebrities, and even former presidents.

These palpable results mark a significant step in social media activism. Remember Kony? Kony 2012? No? That’s because, for the western world, he stayed in 2012. One viral video could not stop something so big. The ice-bucket challenge showed us how involving regular people in pursuing a very achievable outcome can actually make a difference. This is why the Ice-Bucket is no1 in our YouTube review 2014.

2.Nicki Minaj and big butts

Don’t underestimate the impact of Nicki Minaj’s Anaconda. The song and accompanying video has helped bring about what Vogue has called “the dawn of the era of the big booty.” The claim is that small butts have always been considered more attractive (although Sir Mix-A-Lot would disagree). J-Lo started the revolution in the nineties, but Nicki Minaj, Kim Kardashian and others are using social media to change the accepted ideal woman’s body, and have been very effective. Women are signing up for gym classes which promise to fatten the posterior, and some are even undergoing cosmetic surgery to join the big butt elite.

While there are many factors involved in this shift, we’ve seen this year how social media (Instagram and tumblr, in addition to YouTube) can cause a trend to truly swell. Pun intended. Do you agree or disagree with our decision to place Nicki Minaj no2 on our YouTube review 2014?

3. John Oliver and salmon cannons

John Oliver recently ran a YouTube short in which he literally destroyed a pinata. The gag was intended as a response to publications (yes, we mean you Huffington Post) headlining his demolition, destruction and humiliation of political hypocrites, racial inequality, along with other important issues not getting nearly enough exposure.

Last Week, Tonight, has marked a significant shift in political satire. Its focused, weekly format, allows it better preparation than staples like Jon Stewart, and perhaps more of an impact. Technically, it’s an HBO production, but the main segment, along with the occasional internet special, are loaded onto YouTube immediately after it has aired on Cable.

Thus far, John Oliver has brought to attention the death penalty, the broken prison system, and the Supreme Court’s problem of being unnecessarily tedious. He has run campaigns to #BringBackOurGeckos, a group of copulating geckos sent by Russia into space and subsequently lost, organized Bashar al-Assad’s favorite band to satirize him in a parody of their own song, and created a “salmon cannon” which shot fish cross country and across networks.

This last is possible because of YouTube’s independent format. No one network has control over what opinions can or can’t be posted. YouTube has raised the bar by allowing information to be broadcast globally, leading to better educated, less bigoted, and more open-minded citizens and voters.

These are just three important contributions that YouTube has brought to us in 2014. Watch the full Rewind here:

You’ll be glad to know that not all of your lazy days in front of a screen have gone to waste. Have any comments or maybe a story we missed out from our YouTube review 2014…..drop us a message.