YouTube pulls the plug on its most disliked feature for good

YouTube Axon 10 Pro
YouTube Axon 10 Pro (Image credit: Jason England / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • YouTube has discontinued Rewind after 10 years of releasing annual year-end recaps.
  • Its 2018 edition became the most disliked video on the platform due to criticisms that it shifted focus from real YouTubers to mainstream celebrities.
  • The service promises a more interactive replacement for Rewind soon.

YouTube has revealed that it is permanently ending the decade-old Rewind feature following criticism of its year-end video compilation, which became the most disliked video of all time on the platform back in 2018.

The video-sharing service confirmed its decision to TubeFilter, saying it will shift its focus to a different kind of experience. However, YouTube fell short of disclosing specific details about Rewind's replacement. It also announced its move on Twitter:

In a statement to TubeFilter, it said its decision was due to the platform's growth, saying it's now impossible to condense its vastness in a short-form compendium. Explaining the reason behind its decision, the service also said in a tweet:

When we started Rewind in 2011, we wanted to take a moment to celebrate some of the amazing things the YouTube community created. Over the years, we've seen that a single Rewind created by YouTube can't possibly reflect the full breadth of our creator community.

Nevertheless, YouTube promised that Rewind would be replaced by "something a bit more interactive." It will also rely on creators to produce their own versions of Rewind year-end content, as many have done in previous years. However, the Google-owned platform will not financially support these initiatives and will only promote them through its social channels.

YouTube's latest move is not entirely surprising. It paused Rewind last year, ostensibly due to the pandemic and social injustice riots sparked by the murder of George Floyd. The 2018 edition was also widely panned for its greater focus on mainstream celebrities rather than YouTube's homegrown creators. The video currently has over 19 million dislikes versus 3 million likes.

It was the last time YouTube made a minutes-long video compilation of creators and hit songs in collaboration with digital studio Portal A. Those events were obvious signs that YouTube would eventually shelve the entire effort.

If you miss the Rewind experience, YouTube will still release year-end recaps, including its annual trends list. You can also take a trip down memory lane by watching previous Rewinds, which are available to watch on many of the best Android phones and laptops.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.