Early this morning, hundreds of people and brands found out their Webby fate when the complete list of 2016 Webby Award winners was released. These winners represent the best of the best the web has to offer. Their brains and creativity behind videos, web pages, and social movements are what fuel the revolutionary rise of the Internet. The International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences (IADAS) had nominated over 1,000 people for the chance to take home the coveted spiral trophy for the 20th year of the Webby Awards.

In addition to the enormous nomination list, the IADAS had no small feat choosing winners. They had to review and choose winner in over 200 categories, the most in Webby history! The Academy weren’t the only ones choosing winners, with voting open to the public since the beginning of the month. This year a record number of people, over two million, flocked to the web to cast a vote for their favorites. Each category has a Webby winner as well as a People’s Choice Award recipient who had the highest number of public votes. Today, we’re going to recap some of the biggest winners of the 20th Annual Webby Awards.

The Prestigious Panel

Just like the Oscars, GRAMMYS, and Academy Awards, the Webby Award winners are chosen by some of the most brilliant and talented people in the industry. This year’s judging panel included Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, Instagram’s Eva Chen, and Huffington Post Founder Arianna Huffington, just to name a few. In addition to several famous names in the industry, a handful of previous Webby winners and nominees sit on the board and have an active role in choosing the winners each year.

And the Winners Are…

Webby Lifetime Achievement Award: The Onion, a popular news satire organization, will take the stage to accept the Lifetime Achievement Award for having previously won a record-setting 39 Webby Awards in a humor category.


Breakout Film of the Year: Millions of people became “lawyers” in a matter of 10 hours while binge watching the Netflix documentary “Making a Murderer.” The wildly popular documentary caught fire and had everyone hitting ‘next episode’ to find out the fate of Steven Avery, which led the IADAS to sentence the documentary a Webby Award for breakout film of the year.

Best Writing in Social: Witty and humorous, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, will take home a Webby Award for the best social writing with millions of views on each video.

Social Movement of the Year: Opal Tometi and Alicia Garza won a Webby Award for their work in co-founding the nation-sweeping #BlackLivesMatter social movement.

Special Achievement: Co-creators of the popular TV show Girls Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner will also be walking away with a Webby for their creation of the feminism focused newsletter, Lenny Letter, which is delivered bi-weekly to hundreds of thousands of subscribers.

The List Doesn’t End There

A few other notable winners include First Lady Michelle Obama, who won two awards, both in the Online Film and Video Category. The biggest winners of the day are Spotify and Vice Media who each will walk away with thirteen awards in various categories ranging from advertising to fashion and beauty. Closely behind are several other brands like National Geographic with ten, The New York Times with eight, and TED with seven.

My personal favorite is the winner in the animal category, which honors the social trends involving our furry friends. The 2016 Webby Award winner in the animal category is Catstacam, a promo campaign created by Whiskas, an Australian cat food brand. Catstacam is a wearable camera for cats letting them take and post their own photos to Instagram, which are viewable by searching #catstacam on Instagram.


Be a 2017 Webby Winner

You don’t have to be a nationally recognized to be a Webby Award winner, but you do have to create a unique online presence to stand out. Even if you may never receive a Webby Award for your hard work, it is never too late to start or fix your online presence. The unprecedented amount of public votes and nominees in the 2016 Webby Awards reflect the upward catapult that the Internet has on our society and you don’t want to be left behind.

Watch the Awards

With the vast number of categories and huge winner list, we could never recap it in just one single article, you can see all the winners on the Webby Website. Take a look and see if your favorite brand or entertainer won an award. Also, be sure to tune into the 20th Annual Webby Award stream May 17th if you want to see the biggest winners give five-word acceptance speeches.