If you’re an avid creator or simply watch YouTube now and then, you’ve probably noticed that challenges are a huge trend nowadays. This type of content is highly engaging, fun to produce, and educational for everybody involved – including the audience. But which challenges are the best ones to try?
In this article, we’ll list some of the most amazing YouTube challenge ideas to try this year. Best of all, many of them can be as broad as you like or be narrowed down to your YouTube channel niche or personal field of interest. On this list, you’ll even discover some fun YouTube challenges specifically for you photographers and filmmakers out there.
Without any further ado, let’s get down to it.
What Is a Youtube Challenge?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve already seen some version of a YouTube challenge, or maybe even completed one yourself. But for the uninitiated, it’s as simple as setting up a real-life challenge for yourself or a friend and sharing it on YouTube. It could be anything from taking pictures, exploring your boundaries with food, or doing the same thing continuously for 24 hours in a row.
In the end, the audience or pre-appointed judges cast their votes and let the result be known. There can be a prize for the winner or a punishment for the loser to make things even more fun.
Here Are the Top YouTube Challenges You Should Try This Year
Try not to Laugh Challenge
This YouTube challenge is not only super straightforward to do. It’s also utterly hilarious. There are multiple ways to complete the challenge. An obvious one is to show funny YouTube videos to the other participant who has to try and hold a straight face throughout. Videos are not the only way, however. You could also read a selection of hand-picked jokes or tell a personal anecdote.
This challenge works even better with someone you know really well. This way, it becomes easier to find a couple of videos that make the other person go up in stitches.
The Cinnamon Challenge
Next is a true challenge classic. This one predates YouTube but has the potential of going viral on any video platform. One example could be making it as a Vimeo challenge. But first, a warning. Be cautious with cinnamon, in particular, if any of the participants have asthma.
With that out of the way, this YouTube challenge is obviously all about eating a full spoon of cinnamon. This is, in essence, impossible – but why not get a good laugh trying it while making a funny video at the same time?
Camera Manufacturers Challenge
This YouTube challenge is a fun little social game that you can also play on long drives and similar situations where you need to kill some time. As you might’ve guessed, the challenge consists of remembering all the camera or lens manufacturers you know – a tremendous challenge for the nerd and, even more so, for a layman.
Of course, the challenge can also be varied with famous photographers, cities, or car manufacturers. If you’re a gear expert, you could try the hardcore version. It includes not only brands but also their specific camera and lens models.
Edit the Same Photo Challenge
Yet another fun challenge for YouTube is two or more photographers editing the same raw photo. There should preferably be a time constraint to make it even more exciting. The challenge is made up of two photographers or editors getting the same photograph to process through their favorite editing software.
There can also be particular themes, for example, front-page photo, vintage, or noir photography. One of the participants could be a person with zero experience in Lightroom or Photoshop as a fun twist.
More Cool Photography YouTube Challenge Ideas
Best Photo Challenge
Staying on the note of photography, here is another classic YouTube challenge. This one is not only fun to execute and behold. It also hones your photographic skills and teaches you to deliver under pressure. Besides, it’s super engaging for the audience to pick the winning shots.
This challenge is highly repeatable, as you could be traveling with a friend and complete challenges based on the places you visit together. This can be done remotely, too, for example, by capturing street portraits, funny animals, shadows, or exotic cars.
One Model Two Photographers
Here is another photography-related one for those looking for amazing YouTube challenge ideas that could help a channel or vlog completely blow up. This challenge also has the potential of boosting your photographic skill and confidence while teaching you a thing or two. Find a model who is up for the job and have them do a shoot with each participating photographer.
As a side bonus, this challenge can produce portfolio shots for all participants. Not to mention, it’s super fun and engaging!
7 Seconds Challenge
This is a straightforward YouTube challenge to do since it doesn’t require any special equipment. To make and upload a YouTube video, all you need is your phone and a willing participant. Next, someone gets a task to finish in 7 seconds. Popular examples include:
Explain how something works. This could be photography-related – or not. You get to make the rules!
Do a particular task within 7 seconds. Eat an entire cake or tie a tie as soon as possible.
Beatbox to a song and make a YouTube video of it.
You can take turns challenging and performing and let the audience decide the winner.
Big Meal Challenge
Now for the (hopefully) most tasty YouTube challenge idea on this entire list. As you might’ve guessed, this challenge is centered around food. The goal is to order a massive meal and eat it within a given time frame. This challenge can be performed solo as well as with friends. For example, you could find out how many apples, cans of baby food, or Big Macs you can actually down in 30 minutes.
You could also do the even more amusing variant and let the challenge revolve around eating raw onions or lemons instead – an unforgettable experience that is sure to gain loads of views!
24 Hour Challenge
A word of caution: Your YouTube channel might explode if you try this at home. The most popular variant of this challenge is the legendary Le Mans 24 hour race in France each year. But if you don’t have a track-specced car, sponsors, and an entire racing team, do not worry. The YouTube version of the 24-hour challenge could contain anything at all.
Taking pictures for a day straight, walking as far as you can in 24 hours, or picking up a new skill. Just remember to stock up on batteries and coffee.
Cheap vs. Expensive Challenge
This is one of the most popular YouTube challenges in 2021, and that’s not without reason. The concept is that a pro photographer or filmmaker gets a cheap entry-level camera and lens. Meanwhile, a beginner receives a high-end piece of kit like a Sony A7R III. Then, both people must produce the best possible b roll or photoshoot, using the tool at hand and no other resources.
At the end of the session, the result is decided by a voting panel consisting of experts or even your YouTube followers.
Besides being fun and challenging, it’s pretty impressive to observe how a skilled photographer can create outstanding results using but a potato – once again reasserting the fact that gear, while helpful, is far from everything.
Flip the Sample Challenge
Let us not neglect those of you who delve into creation in the realm of music. A tough yet fun challenge is producing or remixing a tune based on one single audio sample. For those daring enough to try the hard mode, no other sound sources may be included.
For a moderate difficulty level, it’s ok to use sample packs or software instrument plugins. Another great idea could be to use one particular hardware machine of choice – and nothing else. Feel free to experiment with the exact rules, as long as you establish them up-front.
Speed Drawing Challenge
Here’s another fantastic YouTube video idea for you. Just as with dancing, the cool thing about drawing is that everyone can do it to some extent – no matter if you’re a kid or an adult. Of course, our level of competency varies wildly, but everyone can certainly make a doodle. In the speed drawing challenge, the contestants have to draw or paint an image of an object, person, or location.
The challenge brief is simply a photograph as the source material to interpret. For the digital art ninjas among us, this challenge is possible both in the digital domain and good old physical drawing tools.
Tips to a Successful YouTube Challenge
- Plan ahead. Write down the challenge on a piece of paper, and remember to make a good thumbnail.
- Consider making a YouTube poll where you let your audience pick which challenge they’d like to see the most.
- Shoot multiple challenges in one day. This way, you’re getting several pieces of content for later use.
- Be clear about the rules. The challenge is more fun if the rules are simple and straightforward yet hard to live up to.
- Challenges can be your main YouTube channel idea. They can also help engage your existing audience and provide instant inspiration for fun and popular content.
- Lastly, don’t take yourself too seriously! The whole point of making a YouTube challenge is to have fun and engage the audience. It’s not a job interview, exam, or critical professional assignment. There is plenty of room to fail and laugh.
For better reach, share the challenge on other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Who knows, you might even get curated on the best IG feeds!
Once your YouTube channel reaches a certain size, making a reaction video to challenges on bigger channels can benefit both parties.
If your challenge video involves audio, be sure to check out our guide to getting better audio for your YouTube videos.
This concludes our carefully crafted list of the most amazing YouTube challenges you should definitely try. Now you should have more than enough great ideas for a fun challenge, no matter if you’re a YouTuber, a photographer, or neither yet.
If you’ve got the final video rendered out on your computer, you might be wondering how to get the video from your computer onto your iPhone or Android.
As long as you have a phone and an internet connection, you can join the fun right here and now. The key benefits of creating a popular YouTube challenge are that the audience loves it, it’s fun to do, and can even generate portfolio material.