2023 YouTube Trends and Predictions



On YouTube’s official trends podcast, host MatPat, along with guests Kevin Allocca, YouTube’s global director of culture and trends, and Maddy Buxton, YouTube’s culture and trends manager, chatted about what was a hit in 2022 and what they think is going to be prominent on YouTube in 2023. 

The continued growth of YouTube Shorts was, of course, a big topic, as was the re-emergence of travel content, and so much more.

Let’s review the highlights of the episode together. 

Virality

Going viral is not the same as it used to be. Previously, one piece of content would go viral to everyone. But now we have these “monocultures,” as Allocca referred to them, within the internet, and things go viral within those communities. Because of this, what’s viral in one community is likely not viral in another. In this way, virality has actually scaled back a bit. 

MatPat, Allocca, and Buxton talked a bit about this shift. But one thing they didn’t touch on is the fact that it’s more beneficial to go viral these days since virality happens within more niche audiences.

It’s simple when you boil it down: You’re serving specific content to a targeted audience as opposed to general content to a generic audience. The targeted audience is more likely to become loyal followers and eventually become a customer.

I think we’re going to continue to see refined content and audiences experience bigger reach and overall success in 2023.

Community

Every single 2022 top trending video has one thing in common according to Buxton and Allocca: community. From personal stories to celebrity moments, videos that perform well give users a sense of community.

We saw this with the Will Smith slap video, for example, where community members came together to discuss what happened, defend their celebrity of choice, and speculate why it happened. 

Videos about personal stories, for example, are cultivating a different type of community — one in which folks feel like they belong and find comfort. Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) videos have emerged as a top content type over the past year or so because, according to some users, it helps them relax.

Finding folks who relax the way you do, share your career path, or someone you can live through vicariously as they travel the world in a van with their cat are all examples of building a unique community.

AI Content

Whether folks are talking about the rise of AI-generated content or utilizing AI-generated content for their video scripts and captions, Allocca, Buxton, and MatPat all predict it’ll be a focus in 2023. 

The trio pointed out that we ended 2022 with rising conversations about AI-generated content and the ethics of such a tool. As we move through 2023, I suspect we’re going to start having deeper conversations about the ethics of AI-generated content while navigating ways to responsibly use it. 

Resurgence of Travel + Hotel Content

As discussed in the episode, the pandemic impacted user behavior, but it also impacted creator behavior. Coming out of COVID, people are feeling safe to travel again, so it’s likely that travel and hotel content will resurface as top content. Folks will be looking for places to travel and hotels to stay in as well as making note of fun and interesting places to go and things to do. This will result in creators making more content for these users, leading to the resurgence of travel and hotel content.

In 2023, expect AI-generated content and a resurgence of travel and hotel content

It’s evident that YouTube will continue to be a major platform for content creators to share their stories and make an impact. We can expect to see more refinement in content as well as continued growth in niche audiences.

Check out the full podcast episode below.

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