YouTube Trends Hopes To Find Out What Makes a Viral Video Hit

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It’s that time of the year when every website and publication under the sun trots out a top ten, best-of-the-year type of list. These sorts of things are generally churned out to lure in readers by reflecting the year that was. Best-of lists are a cheap trick (don’t worry, ours is on the way) but they work every time. Like this list which profiled the year’s most popular videos on YouTube. Found on this list are all of the expected suspects – Double Rainbow guy, Old Spice guy, that Bad Intruder guy. Our interest in what makes a viral video hit has never been higher. The folks at YouTube have picked up on this interest and have recently launched YouTube Trends.

According to YouTube’s blog, the new feature was born out of curiosity as to what YouTube viewers were watching most.

“The idea for YouTube Trends started with our desire to find new ways of identifying the viral and newsworthy content people love to share and packaging it in an easy-to-digest format,” YouTube wrote in a blog post. “With over 35 hours of video now uploaded to YouTube every minute, we wanted one place to distill the videos people were sharing and discussing with their friends as well as understand what YouTube could teach us about our culture and current events.”

YouTube Trends also will include the launch of a new dashboard, a twice-a-day collection of the top videos called “4 at 4” and a YouTube Trends blog which profiles the hottest and most watched videos.

The release of YouTube Trends is a testament to our collective fascination with viral videos. For many marketers and advertisers, 2010 will be remembered as the year when commercials went viral (thanks again, Old Spice). The line between entertainment and marketing became blurrier as promotional clips became bona fide watch-again hits. YouTube Trends will give marketers in hopes of a video bonanza a chance to see what people are gravitating toward.

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