We can’t imagine life without (or before) YouTube. And as the site turns 10 years old this week, we look back at its numbers and the Female team pick their favourite videos. (Yes, there will be cats!)
There’s Numa Numa (2006), Evolution of Dance (2006), Yosemitebear Mountain Double Rainbow (2010), Sneezing Panda (2007), Nyan Cat (2011, no, we don’t understand either), the Annoying Orange (2009), Leave Britney Alone (2007) and millions of other clips out there that have made people, artists, blockheads, bad singers and cats famous. Mostly cats. We all love and can’t live without YouTube. If we asked you to pick just two of your favourite videos, you’d be stumped, well, so was the F Team. We had to ponder a bit before coming up with our own favs. Hope this helps waste a little bit more of your life.
Noelle Loh, fashion editor: “Jil Sander Fall/Winter 2012 fashion show: The only way to describe Raf Simon’s last collection for the Italian label is sublime. Add an emotional soundtrack that starts with Mazzy Star’s Fade In You, transitions into Sonic Youth’s version of The Carpenters’ Superstar and ends with Smashing Pumpkin’s Tonight, Tonight (all of which are Simon’s faves) and this is one of fashion’s greatest – and saddest – moments ever. I keep going back to it, and never fail to choke up each time.”
Noelle: “Broad City: Originally a web series on YouTube that has since been picked up by Comedy Central, this lo-fi comedy about two BFFs living in New York will make you laugh, gag, cringe and often go, ‘Okay, gross but I can totally relate to that’. More real than Girls, and a lot less annoying.”
Fun fact: 48 hours of videos are uploaded onto YouTube every minute.
Yeoh Jo-Ann, features editor: “It’s the music video of Ben Howard’s I Forget Where We Were. There’s a slow-life metaphor here that I’m obsessed with (I watch this video about six to ten times a day). In every scene, the models barely move and, when they do, every movement is slow and long-drawn. Like so many photographs, rather than a video. See it to get it.”
Jo-Ann: “The music video of Human, by The Killers, another music vid – that’s YouTube’s raison d’etre, as far as I’m concerned! About five years ago, I couldn’t start my day without first watching this. I love that it’s such an ’80s song – the electronic music, random animal appearances and the odd lyrics that aren’t obscene (“Are we human, or are we dancer/denser?”? HUH?). And every time I watch it, I wait for that bit in 1:10 where Brandon Flowers, kitted out in a so-ridiculous-it’s-cool jacket with feather epaulettes, does this odd sideways air-punch, just before the drum machine kicks in. Impossible not to swoon a little.”
Fun fact: Of the top 30 most watched videos, only ONE clip is not a song/music video. You’ll never guess it, but it’s Charlie bit my finger at #11, with 816,344,669 views. (Our favourite song Chandelier by Sia clocks in at #18).
Isabel Ong, fashion & beauty writer: “I can’t help rewatching this Postman Dreams: Battlefield short film by Autumn De Wilde for Prada, because I love how the little boy’s elaborate make-believe games are housed in a Galleria bag. Very ingenious.”
Fun Fact: We humans spend about 2.9 billion hours watching YouTube a month. A month. That’s 325,000 years.
Isabel: “Just one girl and her piano. Pure, raw, and wholly captivating.”
Fun Fact: More videos are posted in a 60-day period than the three major US TV networks have created in 60 years.
Moh Shuying, associate beauty editor: “There no reality tv show that’s as exciting and dramatic as the US presidential race.”
Fun Fact: The three founders of YouTube knew each other from working together at PayPal.
Shuying: “Who doesn’t love a good lip sync battle?”
Fun Fact: There are more than 10,000 parodies of Rebecca Black’s Friday.
David Fuhrmann Lim, web editor: “Being a massive sports fan, I’m gonna have to go with this highlight reel of the best of Ultimate Frisbee. It’s a sport I play and love, and I never tire of watching this.”
Fun Fact: The richest YouTuber ever made $6.5mil in 2014 alone. What does she do? She unwraps toys.
Imran Jalal, senior fashion writer: “I can be on a reality show binge the whole weekend without any food — that’s how addicted I am to these things.. The web series Ultra Rich Asian Girls of Chinese girls in Vancouver has all the right ingredients that make ace reality TV: lots of ditzy moments, old money, cat fights, mean girls, cat fights and priceless quips.”
Imran: “It may be a little scripted, with a few silly questions at times, and that annoying fella who appears mid-way! But there’s something about seeing celebs fielding questions in their private spaces that keeps the voyeur in me glued.”
David: We have to end with a cat video of course. Cats are the whole reason why YouTube was created.”
Finally, here’s a fascinating TED talk by Kevin Allocca, YouTube’s trends manager on how videos go viral.