YouTube Milestones

This page began as an attempt to compile a list of the most highly rated videos on YouTube. One way to do this is to rank them by their "like ratio", or ratio of likes to (likes + dislikes). However, I found the result to be heavily skewed towards new videos and videos with few views. I tried adding cutoffs and weights to the formula to counterbalance that, but never could get a list I was happy with.

Finally, I hit on the idea of using a Pareto frontier. Say that video A "dominates" video B if A is older, has more views, and has a higher like ratio than B. Now take the set of all videos on YouTube, and remove every video which is dominated by any other. You are left with the Pareto frontier, or set of undominated videos. These can be seen as milestones of YouTube. Each milestone is the first video with that many views to achieve that like ratio.

The milestones are a nice mix of videos combining popularity (high view count), longevity (early publication, including "Me at the zoo", the first video on YouTube), and reputation (high like ratio). There are also a large number of videos of Korean boy bands, but that seems to be unavoidable! Below are the 194 most viewed milestones, listed by date of publication.

List compiled by Tim Smith. Last updated: 2020-09-29