As annoying as existing on YouTube seems to be in this day and age — when you’re halted ever three to five minutes by a State Farm ad — I still come back to the platform regularly.
I can’t help it. There are many different video platforms, but as agonizing as it is to notice the increasing number of ads or know how little your decisions impact the YouTube algorithm or how much malicious or misinformed content ends up on users’ feeds, I still return to watch 2-hour or more video essays about Warhammer 40K lore or inane videos about journaling exercises.
So it’s good to know that YouTube’s top videos for this year included some heartfelt standouts and, and only one real apology vid. None of the titles Google named as their top hits felt like obvious clickbait. They ran the gamut from one Minecraft streamer offering a message of thanks before their untimely death, to a popular animator explaining their aromantic asexuality to well over 17 million people.
Unfortunately, YouTube has also been pushing its Shorts short-form video hard over the last few years, helping it keep up with TikTok. Shorts has proved very popular with nearly 1.5 billion monthly viewers, so we can only expect it to become a bigger part of the video platform going forward. The top 10 shorts have proved completely inane, from cracking an egg 3.05 m underwater to throwing a plunger on a Dave & Buster’s sign. There’s some novelty in these vids, but give me a long form explainer any other day of the week.
In addition, YouTube shared who have been the platform’s top creators. Led by MrBeast, they include the likes of NichLmao, Airrack, Jooj Natu ENG, and Shangerdanger. YouTube music also shared what was their topic-played songs of the year, featuring We Don’t Talk About Bruno from Disney’s Encanto as number one.
The rest are:
- Kodak Black – Super Gremlin
- Jessica Darrow – Surface Pressure
- Bad Bunny – Tití me preguntó
- Future – WAIT FOR U ft. Drake, Tems
- Bad Bunny, Chencho Corleone – Me Porto Bonito
- Karol G, Becky G – Mamiii
- Imagine Dragons x JID – Enemy
- Karol G – PROVENZA
- Lil Baby – Right On (Official Video)
YouTube listed its videos by U.S. viewer count, but just as well we shared the top 10 videos by their counts listed on their pages.
10. The Try Guys – what happened
There really is no drama like a YouTuber cheating drama. After leaving Buzzfeed in 2018 for the greener pastures of their own company based on YouTube, The Try Guys’ whole schtick was doing something new, whether that was testing sperm counts or trying on corsets, in every video. There were four of them, Keith Habersberger, Ned Fulmer, Zach Kornfeld, and Eugene Lee Yang.
Then things got messy. In September, the company announced Fulmer was out. His merch was nixed and he no longer appeared in videos, but the cast continued on like nothing had happened. Finally, the group sat down and said Fulmer had been fired for having an affair with a coworker. Ariel Fulmer, the ex-star’s wife, had regularly appeared in videos with the cast.
The Try Guys’ apology video, if you could call it that, was viewed over 11 million times. The swirling rumours surrounding Fulmer’s departure set alight the internet for such a long time, that even the most dull explanation was like candy for some fans.
9. Jaiden Animations – Being Not Straight
The YouTube channel Jaiden Animations is known for her impressive fidelity with her story-time animations with a range of topics, including nerd culture but also some very personal experiences.
It was her video where Jaiden explained her own experiences coming to understand that she was aromantic and asexual that would become one of her most-watched videos. Being Not Straight, released in March this year, was viewed 17 million times since.
Fans of channels like Jaiden’s often start to think of themselves as a part of the creator’s life. Some fans start to see themselves involved in ways that, at worst, can become abusive. Many fans wanted to disagree or even became belligerent in comments for describing herself as aromantic. But for her fans or even those outside her regular subscriber base who also have also gone through the same journey of discovery, seeing it described with such clean attention to detail was a breath of fresh air.
8. First We Feast – Millie Bobby Brown Needs a Milkshake While Eating Spicy Wings
Millie Bobby Brown is most-known for her role as Eleven in Netflix’s Stranger Things series as well as her starring role in Enola Holmes. However, her reaction to eating increasingly spicy wings was so novel it cemented her starring power. The video in the routinely high-ranking Hot Ones series racked up over 23 million views.
I’ve always admired Sean Evans for his interviewing ability, and it shows up here in spades. He always thinks of questions few ask, whether that’s why actors describe food scenes as the hardest to film, or how much creator input she as an actor on Stranger Things has on the show.
7. Kane Pixels- The Backrooms (Found Footage)
The Backrooms series has been ongoing throughout 2022, featuring enough creepy pasta to fill out a 15-minute lunch break. It’s based on an old online myth about accidentally clipping through reality into a nightmare version of an old motel, full of peeling wallpaper and moist, yellowed carpet. The video creators take that idea and run with it, turning the experience into a kind of found footage film ala The Blair Witch Project.
The first video has been viewed over 42 million times, but since January there are 15 videos in the series that seems to be pushing past its internet mystery roots and is trying to create its own kind of mythology.
6. Dream – hi, I’m Dream
A year after the Minecraft YouTuber megastar Dream finally owned up to cheating at Minecraft speedruns, the YouTuber that for so long had remained anonymous behind his white and black smiley face mask finally revealed his face. That video has been viewed over 47 million times. That’s a whole lot of clicks to see a normal-looking young man’s visage.
Dream describes how fans’ efforts to somehow capture his appearance became “a little too much,” for him, so it was just easier to remove the mystery altogether. Personally, I think he should have kept the mask going for as long as possible.
5. Mark Rober – Pranks Destroy Spam Callers- GlitterBomb Payback
Mark Rober, an ex-NASA Engineer, is known for his work creating elaborate obstacle courses for squirrels as well as his work targeting members of an international scam operation with glitter bombs
His May video details his adventures confirming the locations of four separate spam call centres across the world. Rober sent them glitter bombs, cockroach cages, mice traps, and more then recorded their actions using hacked CCTV. That video has been seen over 55 million times.
4. Technoblade – so long nerds
The YouTuber known as Technoblade got his start in 2013 and became well-known for his Minecraft videos and streams, but his channel really took off after 2019 when participated in Minecraft PVP events.
In 2021, Technoblade noticed a bump on his shoulder that he later learned was cancer. After a year of treatment, the YouTuber passed due to his illness. Instead of making any formal announcement like many celebrties’ families do at news of an untimely death, Technoblade’s father posted a video on the channel where he read off his son’s final words to the community. The YouTuber finally revealed his name was Alexander. The video was viewed over 87 million times.
The Minecraft developers shared their own condolences for the passing of one of their most prominent community members. Alongside other major online personalities, Hypixel — the minigame server where Alexander streamed much of his Minecraft gameplay — set up a Minecraft server and world in his memory.
3. Guardian News – Watch the uncensored moment Will Smith Smacks Chris Rock on stage
Well, I guess we should have saw this coming. This particular uncensored video had been viewed a total 103 million times. The Guardian chose the perfect thumbnail for the scene, which probably only helped shoot this particular clip to the top of the leaderboards.
For as much of a stir the so-called Oscars “Slap” caused, comedian Chris Rock still has yet to publicly talk about it, though he may do some kind of comedy bit some day soon. Actor Will Smith, on the other hand, finally chatted about the event with The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah, saying he “just lost it.” Since then, he said he has had to “humble down and realise that I’m a flawed human.”
2. MrBeast – I Built Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory!
It’s almost… no strike that, it’s definitely excessive just how much work went into this edible palace just to create a 17-minute video of a few regular folks stumbling around and struggling desperately to climb a rock wall. Apparently this video worked out for the extremely popular MrBeast channel, as it claimed 127 million views since it debuted in June this year.
MrBeast was also the highest ranked video on last year’s list, so like death and taxes, MrBeast content getting views is just inevitable.
NFL – Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar & 50 Cent ($0.69) FULL Pepsi SB LVI Halftime Show
I guess it was inevitable that the the NFL Superbowl halftime show ends up on the top ranked. The 2022 show featuring Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, and 50 Cent ($0.69) all in one place was bound to get some clicks, after all.
Editor’s Note: Release dates within this article are based in the U.S., but will be updated with local Australian dates as soon as we know more.
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