Before 2011 YouTube used to had a different type of culture, users and videos.
An era full of videos with extremely poor quality recorded with old phone cameras of 2Megapixels at max, tutorials using the notepad with 009 Sound System Dreamscape as background music, some GTA San Andreas gameplay recorded with Fraps or Hypercam 2, and a lot of videos using Windows Movie Maker as their edition program.
But that wasn’t the only type of videos people used to watch. There was some other videos that we used to type in the search bar of YouTube.
The father of those “meme compilation” videos.
During the 90’s and early 00’s there was a boom of homevideos due to the accessibility to VHS and DVD cameras. Of course in the 90’s these videos weren’t uploaded to the Internet (at least not yet) but there were some TV programs that let people send their own tapevideos of moments they found funny so they could be show on TV.
With the raise of the Internet people still uploaded and watched some compilations of funny homevideos that at some point ended on YouTube. We literally searched for “funny kids videos”, “funny falls videos” or “funny animals videos” etc, and we sometimes put the year to avoid watching the same videos from the 90’s. Of course the newer videos didn’t came from videotapes but from recordings made with cellphones.
Also, can we talk about how we literally put “video” at the end, on YouTube, a page to watch videos...
A duende is type of whimsical and mischievous creature from the folklore of many countries similar to gnomes and leprechauns. Duendes are know in some countries as house protectors, but also as mischievous creatures that might stole things from you. What a duende does changes from region to region but usually they aren’t seem as totally friendly entities. Something like a chaotic neutral creature.
Now, from 2008 to 2011 people were obsessed with paranormal creatures, like witches, fairies, bigfoot encounters, etc, but the most popular (at least here) were duendes. You could find very easily a lot of videos titled “real duende caught on camera” in the platform. Most of the videos came from Latin America and the Philippines.
Of course, as you can imagine, all of the videos were totally fake but due to our naivety and the extremely poor quality of the videos we thought they were real.
I think, looking for videos of duendes was the latinamerican equivalent of looking for videos of “real fairies”.
During of December of 2022 Joel streamed a showcase of many classic videos of duendes from that era. And yes, most of them were from the Philippines and Latin America. (It was interesting to see him react to a video from my country lol).
YouTube was also plagued of videos of UFO’s and aliens, a very popular topic during that era. If these videos were real or not is up to debate but we cannot deny that some of them were totally fake that took advantage of the poor quality of the videos.
Yeah, at 144p we couldn’t tell between a video recorded with a 2 megapixel camera from a totally fake one edited with CGI.
Sadly I can’t say too much about this type of videos since they weren’t exactly my favorites. But I remember one in specific (one that sadly I can’t find anymore) that now I can tell it’s clearly CGI but at that time it looked incredible real to me.
But not only we were obsessed with UFOs. All around the globe we were obsessed with ghost videos. Why? Well, because the topic was also interesting back in the day, but we were way more prone to believe any type of video that claimed to be proof of them. For the first time ever a lot of people were having contact with audiovisual material on the web and, unlike those UFO or duendes videos a lot of them claimed to be from security cameras making them sound way more real.
One again, most of the videos were just extremely low quality recordings with poor edition that help them to look credible since we couldn’t tell between a pixel from another. It was also very common to see compilations of photos with some fake story attached to them.
And of course we can’t talk about ghost videos without talking about screamers and jumpscares. Screamer videos were extremely popular between 2008 and 2010 before they fall in popularity around 2012. But, let’s say that we didn’t exactly searched them on purpose. (Unless it was to show the screamer to a friend as a prank).
These type of videos were usually disguised as ghost footage videos, but you could also found them in videos of optical illusions or ones about subliminal messages. Basically any type of video that would ask the viewer to “get closer to the screen”.
Most of these videos would show you a frame from a horror movie, like The Exorcist.
In case you are wondering there’s a difference between a screamer and a jumpscare. While the first includes a loud noise like a scream (hence the name), the later doesn’t require any sound at all.
Viewer advice for loud noises and disturbing images (aka the screamer).
Funfact: There’s a whole wiki dedicated to screamers that you can visit here.
Because before Crunchyroll, Netflix and other streaming sites to watch anime, if we didn’t feel like going to an anime dedicated forum and download the episodes to our computer we just searched them on YouTube.
Due to the duration limit of videos on YouTube during that era it was common to split the episodes in 3 or even more parts leading to the infamous “[Title] part 2/3”. Why it was infamous? Because there was always a part missing due to copyright infringements.
To avoid that it was very common for these videos to be mirrored or have a big and annoying frame.
Short for Anime Music Video. This was basically the ancestor of those TikTok videos where people put some phonk music or any other popular song like Little Dark Age and edit it over some clips from a popular anime.
Yeah, this isn’t something new since people already did this in the early years of YouTube. To be honest, you didn’t really needed to be an anime fan to end watching these type of videos. Naruto and Dragon Ball were really popular in the mainstream so those were the most common ones. Same with Sonic X AMV’s. And of course the most popular ones were the ones using Linkin Park songs.