F Is for Fails: #10YearsofYouTube

May 07, 2015

It’s comforting to remember that everyone fails from time to time. And if you ever forget, just go on YouTube.

That said, it wasn’t long ago that if you fell on your face doing something, the people present for your tumble were the only ones who got to see it. (Can you imagine?) Thankfully, in 2015 we share mishaps and faceplants at a global level in minutes. And make no mistake, fails are now an international phenomenon.

In 2008, the top three countries whose citizens were most likely to search YouTube for the word ‘fail’ were the United States, Australia, and Canada. In 2015, the top three are now Lithuania, Norway, and Latvia -- countries whose official languages don’t even include the word. In fact, Lithuania has topped the list of countries whose citizens are most likely to search YouTube for fails each year since 2011.

There are fail-loving standouts in the US, too. According to YouTube search data, Utah has the highest density of YouTube searches for the word ‘fail’ out of any state. Alaska ranks second, followed by Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, North Dakota, and Iowa. The state least interested in searching for fails? Virginia. Turns out a Virginian is about half as likely to search for fails on YouTube as a Utahn. So Virginia is for lovers, just not lovers of fail videos.

Videos of people failing have been a part of YouTube's DNA from the very beginning -- the second video ever uploaded to YouTube was someone falling off his snowboard. Here’s to 10 more years of failing (safely!) and never forgetting that everyone’s human (or, in some cases, animal).