real life

2016 will go down in history as The Year We Filmed Everything.

This year will not be quickly forgotten – and not just because it turned out to be a bit of a bad year (see: Trump, Brexit, David Bowie, Brangelina to name but a few).

No, 2016 will go down in the history books as The Year We Filmed Everything. Everything. From lunches to labour, nothing was too gory or trivial to record and broadcast to family, friends and even total strangers.

And if we weren’t filming ourselves, we were watching the results of other people filming themselves.


Work it gurl. Image: Paramount Pictures/Brittany Stewart

So how did videos come to fill up our feed? Who decided everyone needed to hear about what I ate for breakfast? And why did I just spend five minutes watching Kylie Jenner pose in a mirror?

1.The rise and rise and rise of Snapchat.

It all started with that tiny yellow ghost.

The photo sharing app has been around since 2011, with Snapchat Stories - a personal curation of snaps or videos that any follower can view -  first launched in 2014. But this year really saw it take off to another level. The app now boasts 150 million daily active users.

Its video usage has grown dramatically too with the app attracting 10 billion video views a day. That's 3,560,000,000,000 (yes, we're in the trillions) a year.


While personas on Facebook and Instagram have become more contrived, many attribute Snapchat's success to its "authenticity" (minus all those filters). It's easy to use, feels 'in the moment' and my teenage sister (like millions of others) practically lives her life on it, creating video content with a touch of a finger.


It's become a seriously powerful and influential tool. Just ask Kylie Jenner.

A video posted by Kylie (@kyliejenner) on

The 18-year-old is the most watched person on Snapchat by "a long shot", with about 10 million people watching her Snapchat stories daily - a good one to two million more than older sister Kim.

Yes, more people watch Jenner singing in her car every day than the number of Australians who watched Prince William and Kate Middleton tie the knot, and Marat Safin beat Lleyton Hewitt in the 2005 Australian Open Men's Single Finals. COMBINED. And they are the two most watched broadcasts on Aussie TV since the current ratings system started in 2001.

Blimey. (Post continues after audio.)

2. Facebook got in on the action.

Seeing more and more people take to video like a kid to a lolly buffet, social media giant Facebook wanted in on the action. And while Snapchat may have kickstarted the movement, Facebook can take a lot of responsibility for shaping its one billion daily active users to receive and view news and entertainment in video format.

The company launched Facebook Live in April, essentially giving users a TV camera in their pockets, with no need for any video production skills or fancy equipment.


"Anyone with a phone now has the power to broadcast to anyone in the world. When you interact live, you feel connected in a more personal way," wrote Mark Zuckerberg.


Image: iStock

"This is a big shift in how we communicate, and it's going to create new opportunities for people to come together."

How right the man was. From powerful US election analysis to capturing one mum's simple delight at buying a Chewbacca mask (which has currently been viewed over 164 million times), Live delivered some of this year's most talked about video content.

Around the same time as the launch, Facebook made a major change to their algorithm, which determines what you see in your daily news feed, favouring "engaging" content such as videos.

This had two major results. Firstly, it meant you probably started seeing more videos appearing in your feed, and secondly, in order to get into your feed in the first place, news organisations had to change the way they packaged their stories. Translation? More videos.

It made news and current affair content neatly packaged in monologues from people like The Project's Waleed Aly and Last Week Tonight's John Oliver gold (read: viral) content viewed by millions. There was entertainment too, with skits, makeup tutorials and simple, easy to follow recipes constantly topping feeds.

Some of the most defining news stories of the year were also videos, like five-year-old Omran Daqneesh pulled out from the rubble of Aleppo and the infamous "grabbed her by the p*ssy" footage of Donald Trump.


The sharing of video promoted by social media sites like Facebook also allowed people in dangerous and hard-to-reach areas like Syria and the Middle East to show the world what was going on, when mainstream media could not - or would not.

At work, on the train or on the toilet, thanks to the rise of video, news has never been so digestible.

year we filmed everythihng
2016 will be hard to forget... because we recorded every moment of it. (Image: Mamamia)

3. The birth of Instagram stories.

Nowhere was safe from the video invasion. This year also saw Instagram, the home of beautiful photos and "inspirational" memes, follow its owner Facebook's lead and take a sharp video turn.

In August, Instagram announced the launch of 'Instagram Stories', allowing users to add pictures and videos on to their profile for a 24-hour period. Cue the immediate Snapchat copycat cries (quite rightly.)

And while many predicted it wouldn't last long, it's proven to be a success, with celebrities, bloggers and 'everyday' users alike using it to supplement their existing profiles.

Image: Instagram/@reesewitherspoon

As of October, Instagram Stories had 100 million daily active viewers - two thirds of Snapchat's figures - and it's only a few months old. A few weeks ago, it announced the rollout of live video streaming through the Stories feature.

So while we thank you for the memories 2016 (and can replay them to our heart's content), the camera is clearly still rolling into 2017.