Microsoft’s spreadsheet software has been the obsession of many Internet users. Now, Excel excites all generations, especially with social media and attractive competitions.
Dec 11, 2021. 400,000 Internet users gathered on Youtube. A live video from a YouTuber with millions of subscribers? A Game meeting between streamers? All that is nothing. Spectators that day are focused on the latest edition of the Excel World Championship. The competition’s existence is something to smile about, but even if it’s not directly linked to Microsoft, it shows viewers how discipline is no secret.
A success that surprised even the participants. Loïc Coquer, a 27-year-old French national, attended the event. The financial auditor says he was “surprised at first” by the excitement and audience generated by this unusual competition.
“Personally, I wouldn’t even think of watching a match like this. Classic gaming is addictive and very interactive,” laughs Loic Coker.
Although it was initially the preserve of accountants and other financial professionals, Excel managed to become “cool.” And accessible, almost gamified. Thanks to the creation of these world championships, but content posted on Instagram or TikTok, sometimes collects millions of views.
Accounts with more than 2 million subscribers
It is not surprising to find videos about Excel on social networks. However, the number of dedicated accounts on the platforms has grown, especially the views each has received.
Whether the content is in English, French or Russian, some of them reach heights like @excel.friend, which claims 2.7 million subscribers on TikTok, or @exceldictionary, which can claim to popularize Excel with 2.2 million users.
France isn’t left out either, with several accounts dedicated to learning little-known tips from Microsoft software. Thomas Gogett in particular introduced himself to this universe two years ago and quickly turned it into his career. Known on social networks as Thomas l’Exceleur, the former accountant has been passionate about Excel since discovering it at school (“it was in fourth grade, one Thursday afternoon in computer class”) and now has 181,000 followers and 267,000 followers on Instagram. TikTok. He started developing an online training program. A surprising success for him, but it remains explainable.
“Not many people tried to make Excel ‘sexy’. Many people on YouTube explained what could be explained in 30 seconds in 30-minute videos. It took a slightly different approach, with this vertical format, to make Excel look cool. Cool and create this ‘wow’ effect”, Thomas L. Exceller explains.
Jean-Baptiste Caverne, head of @tutosurexcel on TikTok, Instagram and LinkedIn, wanted to share his knowledge with French users after finding videos from American accounts. He hasn’t quit his job in logistics, but continues to post videos on his three networks showing “useful things in an impactful way.” A way to make it interesting for everyone “A poorly explained software can quickly become boring,” says the creator.
Passion followed by fear
The success of these videos can be explained in more detail because software has always been a vast area of misunderstanding for most users. “The big problem with Excel is the freedom behind it. We come in and there’s a blank page. The risk of error is huge given all the possibilities. It’s like a big Lego construction with 8,000 pieces and no instructions. We don’t know where to start,” Thomas said. L’Exelier sums it up.
Another explanation for this misunderstanding of Excel lies in the lack of employee training, according to Jean-Baptiste Cavern: “It is the most used software in business and there are many employees who are not trained. A quick investment of 200 euros per employee pays for itself in terms of time saved.”
It’s true that Excel enthusiasts are often, if not exclusively, people who work very closely with the world of accounting or finance. Participants in world championships are interested in graphs, data and other formulas. The qualities required for this competition are sometimes a matter of logic above all else.
Numbers and Alphabets 2.0
Excel Competitions Tests There is no competition in the knowledge of the complete formulas of the software. The training is completely different: logic tests that require the use of several formulas, all in a coherent and certainly faster way. Players first compete in qualifying stages with multiple cases to be completed in one hour, before a 1v1 live elimination stage.
Loic Coquer especially had to deal with Shifumi-style logic games. “We had a series of Shifumi results, and we had to calculate the participants’ score from specific formulas,” he recalls.
Almost playful game rules that can attract content creators on social networks. Jean-Baptiste Caverne does not plan to participate in these events, saying “the formulas are very precise to know and it will require a lot of practice.”
But for his part, Thomas Gogett wants to participate [se] Take the challenge and know this pressure”. Maybe in 2023? For now, the creator wants to continue to tackle various videos like how to mount his Christmas wreath using Excel.
Because Excel has its own language, VBA, it allows you to code anything and do (almost) anything using spreadsheet software. A language that allows you to do wonders with a little (a lot) mastery, like Japanese Tatsuo Horiuchi creating tables in Excel cells. Who said Excel is misery software?