From the moment the first video was posted on YouTube (Jawed Karim's 'Me at the zoo', for anyone curious), YouTube videos have gone viral.
We all know about the most viral music videos of the past - Despacito, Gangnam Style, Baby Shark Dance - but what is the most liked non-music video on Youtube as of 2024?
Read on to find out - plus, learn about the most disliked video of all time. You might be surprised by the answer!
Before we reveal 2024's most-liked YouTube video, let's take a look at the runners up - these are the most-liked videos on Youtube pre-2024.
OMG Best Teacher - Dednahype
OMG Best Teacher by Dednahype was posted on December 21, 2021 and has 35.64 million likes.
Our MOST INTENSE Balloon Popping Race - How Ridiculous
Our MOST INTENSE Balloon Popping Race by How Ridiculous has gained 37 million likes since April 2022.
How Zach King Gets Away With Doing Graffiti - dollarbill / Zach King
How Zach King Gets Away With Doing Graffiti by Zach King (reposted by dollarbill) has gained 31.17 million likes since July 2019.
If Cleaning Was A Timed Sport. Part 2 - DanielLaBelle
If Cleaning Was A Timed Sport. Part 2 by DanielLaBelle was posted on October 18th, 2022 and has 37 million likes
Protect $500,000 Keep It! - Mr Beast
But the year isn't over yet! It's possible that Mr Beast's content will be bumped down by an unknown competitor in the coming months, so stay tuned.
The most liked video of all time is Despacito by Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee, which has earned a total of 52 million likes since it was posted in January 2017.
Despacito is followed by Wiz Khalifa's See You Again and the universally recognizable Baby Shark Dance.
Now that we've gone over the most liked YouTube videos, what are the most disliked YouTube videos?
YouTube’s 2018 Rewind video is the most disliked video on the platform to date, with a whopping 20 million dislikes.
YouTube's 2018 Rewind video received an overwhelming number of dislikes due to a variety of criticisms at the time including:
Lack of Representation
Many people felt that YouTube ignored many of the platform's top creators. Notably, PewDiePie was absent, even though he was (and remains) one of the platform's most popular content creators.
Critics argued that YouTube's focus on mainstream celebrities, like Will Smith and talk-show hosts, showed a disregard for YouTube's own creators who had built the platform's success.
The Rewind video tried to showcase the positive aspects of YouTube's community, but many viewers felt this was inauthentic. 2018 was a year with many controversies on the platform, and the video's upbeat tone was seen as out of touch.
Inclusion of Non-YouTube Trends
The 2018 Rewind video included many trends and memes that were not specific to YouTube (like Fortnite dances), which was seen by some as diluting the unique aspects of the YouTube community.
Political and Social Agenda
Some viewers felt that the video was too focused on promoting political and social messages, detracting from its role as a celebration of the year's content.
Overall, the 2018 YouTube Rewind was seen as a misstep by the platform, failing to adequately represent the community and the content that had made the platform popular throughout the year.
The Most Polarizing YouTube Video Of All Time?
The Baby Shark Dance is the second most disliked video of all time with 14.972 million dislikes.
Interestingly, the Baby Shark Dance is also the third most liked video on YouTube to date, making it one of the most polarizing videos to ever grace YouTube's video page.
Currently, the most-viewed YouTube video published in 2023 is TQG by KAROL G and Shakira. Published on February 24, 2023, TQG has accrued over 965 million views.
Once again, the Baby Shark Dance takes the lead with over 14 billion views gained since its publishing date in 2016.
Runners up include:
Despacito - LuisFonsiVEVO (8.20 billion views)
Johny Johny Yes Papa - LooLoo Kids (6.73 billion views)
Bath Song - Cocomelon - Nursery Rhymes (6.26 billion views)
Shape of You - Ed Sheeran (6.02 billion views)
The phrase "going viral" to refer to digital content became popular in the mid-2000's thanks to social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter.
When content goes viral, it can result in a wave of social or cultural awareness, fame, and even money, which is why many content creators begin their careers with the aim of going viral.
Most viral videos share a few defining characteristics, aside from simple luck. Here are a few core principles that typically contribute to a YouTube video's viral success:
Engaging doesn't mean it's good! A video that captures attention and evokes strong emotions - whether it's awe, excitement, or even disgust - is far more likely to go viral.
From annoyingly catchy songs, to videos with an unexpected twist, content that strikes a chord with viewers often encourages re-watching and sharing.
The most liked YouTube videos often have a universal appear that transcends geography and cultural boundaries.
Videos that are easily shareable - which applies to most YouTube and social media content - are more likely to go viral than content found on lesser-known platforms.
Videos that capitalize on trending topics, current events, and pop culture can ride the wave of public interest to virality more readily than other types of content.
Quality & Production Value
While not entirely necessary, high production value can help a video go viral.
In YouTube's early days, most viral content was filmed at home and went viral purely based on humor and catchiness.
However, with so much content being created today it's harder and harder to go viral due to the sheer amount of competition.