YouTube announced it will be shutting down after eight years in business and will no longer accept videos. The news comes, of course, just before April Fools’ Day.
The company teamed up with The Onion to create a YouTube-star-studded video explaining how the site was set up as part of a contest to find the best home video on the Internet.
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Tom Liston, communications director at YouTube, said in the video:
“We are so close to the end. Tonight at midnight, YouTube.com will no longer be accepting entries. After eight amazing years, it’s finally time to review everything that has been uploaded to our site and begin the process of selecting a winner.”
With hilarious cameos from YouTube: Antoine Dodson, David After Dentist and Charlie and his brother (from the video “Charlie Bit My Finger” video) — everyone in the clip is in on the joke.
“We are all storytellers — that is what pulled me into this contest,” said Dodson, known for the viral “Bed Intruder” Auto-Tune video. “I encourage everybody to watch as many videos as possible before YouTube deletes everything tonight.”
YouTube said every video on the site will be reviewed by a panel of judges and it will take 10 years to watch them all. The winner will be announced in 2023, when the site finally comes back online.
In an attempt to make the prank more believable, YouTube added a live stream of two faux presenters announcing “Best Video” nominees, which will run on the site for 12 hours. Although the stream will start out with the feel of an Emmys or Oscars presentation, it’s expected to get a little bit kooky and stranger as the day goes on.