YouTube has summed up the results of the past year and determined what video trends will be relevant in the coming months. This article briefly describes what was popular in 2022 and discusses future trends.
YouTube published the rating of top videos and creators that captured the public attention. You can also see what was of interest to audiences around the world by selecting one of the countries in the drop-down list. Unfortunately for us, most European countries are not there.
There are videos on this ranking list that are popular regardless of the region. So, for example, the video with Will Smith and the ringing slap that he gives at the Oscars is present in the rankings of most countries.
Another interesting content format was offered by the young creator Kane Pixels. On his channel, he posted a video with horror elements. The main character wanders around the basement, and we see a POV of his experience. We can hear horrifying noises coming from various sides. Of course, this video doesn't reach Kubrick's level of excellence, but it can be frightening and addictive, and probably because of that it got 43 million views.
What makes such seemingly meaningless videos popular and why do people watch them? Kevin Allocca and Maddy Buxton are the YouTube Culture & Trends Associates who give the answer to this question.
They emphasize that the concept of viral content as previously understood no longer exists. If you ignore the algorithms that track the reaction of the audience, the popularity of the video depends on how well-known and understandable the chosen topic is for a certain circle of people.
Citing the Kane Pixels video as an example, experts say that you can't explain why this publication is popular in simple words. You need to know the context and those who know it will be awed by the creator's work. In other words, if a person has never played a Granny Horror game and is not interested in abandoned buildings, they are unlikely to understand the imagery in the video. But each viewer will have their own associations, which means it can be interesting to people with different hobbies.
What is the public's attention to Will Smith? To answer this question, the event must be seen in terms of the resonance it created. The famous actor has carelessly set in motion a series of subsequent events, which only the laziest have not discussed or maybe even made a parody of his actions. In other words, watching content about Will Smith, talking about him, and making videos about him has become mainstream.
Recall how a year ago a video of an interview with Ksenia Sobchak and Elena Blinovskaya went viral. It was worth watching, if only because the entire Russian YouTube was making parodies and giving Lenochka psychological diagnoses. Perhaps, if there was a rating for our region, this video would be at the top there.
As for trends, experts have identified three key areas: YouTube Shorts, artificial intelligence, and travel.
The popularity of short videos launched in September 2020 continues to gain momentum. In the top video ranking for 2022, we see many young creators who started their YouTube careers by making short videos. Obviously, they were inspired by the standard YouTube content creators and ended up being able to offer the audience something new.
The trick is that you don't have to devote a lot of time to watching Shorts and they have great entertainment value. For example, people like to watch videos from unusual professional backgrounds (pilots, flight attendants) that show them in their everyday lives. Audiences also love comedy and skits with characters that remind them of themselves.
One of the popular videos included in the list of the best was a story about a guy throwing a plunger into a billboard, hoping that the object will stick firmly to the company logo. This shows that users are interested in watching all kinds of stunts, and if they are successful, they will as happy as the content creators.
As proof that YouTube's predictions are correct, you can use data cited by Daniel Knowlton, a digital marketing expert and co-founder of a marketing agency. For example, he says that by switching to a vertical video display, the number of views increased by 507% in 30 days, and the viewing time increased by 319%. He believes that in 2023, the focus should be put on this format because it shows the best results, while the niche is not yet oversaturated and young talents have a chance to succeed.
The COVID-19 pandemic has imposed a travel ban and for the past few years, people have not been able to fully travel the world. But this year, more travel-related content is expected.
It's not just about reviews like presentations of hotels or resorts from travel agencies. This includes entertaining videos, where creators film expensive hotels, stay in unusual places and show subscribers what they will not see on TV. But the most popular videos will be those where the creators show how to travel in extreme conditions, for example, living by the seaside without the usual comforts.
This type of content will generate more interest because it's as if it shows that everyone, no matter where they live, can create similar things, even on a local level. Content doesn't become more primitive but rather more intimate and understandable to the audience. If a person has to choose between watching a million-dollar 'survival' video or a video on the same topic but made on a budget, they'll most likely choose the latter.
Everyone has been discussing artificial intelligence lately. YouTube specialists say that since the second half of 2022, there has been an increased interest in this topic among the platform users. People have been actively raising the question of how ethical AI-generated content is and the dangers associated with it.
Content creators regularly test the capabilities of virtual assistants by creating unusual imagery from text prompts and showing them in their videos. It is expected that the development of artificial intelligence can make the process of editing videos easier and accessible to more people.
The video marketing industry is also expected to see increased demand for the use of AI. So, for example, a brand can address every customer in a video by name without having to spend huge development budgets to do so. It's quite possible that in 2023 the software will be available for live streams and will open the doors to this type of content on all platforms.
From a podcast with YouTube experts, we also learned that statistically, 80% of young audiences go to the site to listen to or watch soothing content. This includes relaxing music, holiday vlogs, and ASRM videos (ones with relaxing sounds). This is attributed to the rise in anxiety during COVID-19 - at the time, people were in search of their zen. Thanks to this there were videos on the platform that we could never imagine seeing on TV. For example, someone whispering into a microphone or rustling a plastic bag next to it (ASRM). And to everyone's surprise, this trend became popular.
Experts also explained the importance of considering local specifics. For example, in India, people like to watch humorous videos and this is reflected in the annual ratings. People are looking for a way to distract themselves through social media because there is not a lot of entertainment on TV. YouTube Shorts came up for this just in time, considering TikTok was banned in the country in 2020. So when you're putting together your content strategy, pay attention to what kind of content is scarce in your area and test out ideas that come to mind.
The announced trends of the current year do not seem so unexpected. The thing is that we have already heard about the short video trend and discussed the influence of artificial intelligence on content on social media when we talked about the interests of Generation Z on Instagram. Apparently, these areas will follow us through 2023 on all social platforms.