One hundred years into the future, when our great-grandkids look back to what was capturing the world’s imagination on YouTube in 2011, what will they make of us? Will they still be delighted by babbling babies? Will they still be “so excited” about the weekend? And will they be any closer to understanding the mystery of the space-traveling toaster pastry cat?
Check out YouTube.com/Rewind for a timeline of this year's most popular videos and events and to see what the world watched in 2011.
Today, we rewind through the videos and channels that absorbed our collective global attention this year. To compile these lists, we looked at global view counts of popular videos uploaded throughout this year, and, in some instances, we aggregated views across multiple versions of the same video. 2011 was a year of amazing new channels and new stars being discovered, awesome creativity, and of course, Rebecca Black. It was also a year of powerful news stories playing out on YouTube, as people witnessed and documented uprisings and natural disasters, touching personal moments and moments of protest.
In total, there were more than 1,000,000,000,000 (one trillion) playbacks on YouTube this year (yep, count ‘em, 12 zeroes). That’s about 140 views for every person on the earth. More than twice as many stars as in the Milky Way. And if I had a penny for every … OK, you get my drift, it’s a big number.
So to all of you who picked up a guitar and sang a love song, held your camera phone high above a protesting crowd, danced along to “Friday” or just forgot the webcam was on, thank you. You make YouTube what it is, and we can’t wait to hear your stories next year.
Without further ado, your most-viewed videos of 2011.
Most viewed YouTube videos globally (excluding videos from major music labels)
- Rebecca Black - Friday (OFFICIAL VIDEO)
- Ultimate Dog Tease
- Jack Sparrow (feat. Michael Bolton)
- Talking Twin Babies - PART 2 - OFFICIAL VIDEO
- Nyan Cat [original]
- Look At Me Now - Chris Brown ft. Lil Wayne, Busta Rhymes (Cover by @KarminMusic)
- The Creep (feat. Nicki Minaj & John Waters)
- Maria Aragon - Born This Way (Cover) by Lady Gaga
- The Force: Volkswagen Commercial
- Cat mom hugs baby kitten
- Jennifer Lopez - On The Floor ft. Pitbull
- LMFAO - Party Rock Anthem ft. Lauren Bennett, GoonRock
- Bruno Mars - The Lazy Song [Official Video]
- Nicki Minaj - Super Bass
- Pitbull - Give Me Everything ft. Ne-Yo, Afrojack, Nayer
- Pitbull - Rain Over Me ft. Marc Anthony
- Jessie J - Price Tag ft. B.o.B.
- LMFAO - Sexy and I Know It
- Katy Perry - E.T. ft. Kanye West
- Katy Perry - Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F.)
- Zach Wahls Speaks About Family was the most-watched political video
- Japan Earthquake: Helicopter aerial view video of giant tsunami waves was the most-watched news video
- 25 Ways to Wear a Scarf in 4.5 Minutes! was the most watched “how-to” video
- iPhone 5 Concept Features was the most-watched science/technology video
- Immortals was the most-watched movie trailer
- Mountain Biker gets taken out by Buck was the most-watched sports video
Kevin Allocca, YouTube Trends Manager, recently watched “Miracle on 42nd Street.”