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On June 22nd 2023, YouTube launched a new Culture and Trends report, for users and marketers to understand better the rapid changes in the platform and the biggest takeaways from the year.
With new creative tools, AI capabilities, different formats, and more personalized options, YouTube has gathered data on how both creators and users prefer to interact on the network, and what content has piqued their interest.
So, what is the YouTube Culture and Trends report based on?
YouTube Culture and Trends Report 2023
This report analyzed over 100 trends and surveyed 14 countries including the U.S., the U.K., Australia, Brazil, Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea.
Those who responded were broken up into two groups, adults online aged 18-44, and Gen Z users aged 18-24. With these groups, YouTube’s aim was to see how these groups are shaping the current culture on the platform.
This report answers questions such as: What tools and technologies are shaping popular culture on YouTube? How are users consuming content? What preferences and tendencies are we seeing across YouTube users?
Let’s dive into the data and break down the YouTube Trends report!
YouTube Culture and Trends 2023 Report Takeaways
It’s true that this year on YouTube has experienced a lot of changes, updates, and technological advances. This report runs through the main changes and observations that the network has seen for both creators and fans. To find the entire report, click here.
Content Creation for Everyone
The first section emphasizes that although creators and fans have always shaped popular culture, they are now starting to define it. What does this mean exactly?
Instead of creation being isolated to content creators, the roll-out of new tools has allowed more and more users to tap into their creativity and share valuable content. The report presents this as “Creation Is Commonplace”.
According to the survey, 82% of 18-44 year-old online users say they have posted video content online over the past 12 months.
You no longer need to have advanced editing skills, or photography backgrounds to attribute to pop-culture conversations.
With the emergence of more personalized algorithms and varying content types, viewers now expect more out of the content they watch. This means both long and short form, live videos, and pre-recorded content.
The report found that 68% of surveyors say they watch videos about a specific topics across multiple formats such as long form, short form, podcasts, and live streams.
A big part of this is being relatable to users, which can often mean jokes and memes. This raised another pattern across users, where 44% of those surveyed report they have participated in a meme in the last 12 months.
More content diversity means wider fan distributions. This report has separated fans into three groups – casual fans, active fans, and professional fans. When we talk about “fans” this really refers to particiaption levels and how invested users are in their interests.
Casual fans have feeds that allow them to passively consume content related to their fandom, including behind-the-scenes content.
Active fans have more intimate content such as Shorts, Community Tabs, or remixing a brand’s campaign and creating their own rendition.
Professional fans use their expertise to create content that a general audience can relate to.
The report shows that 54% of people surveyed say they would prefer to watch creators breaking down a major event than to follow the event itself.
Also, 47% of Gen Z users have watched videos made by fans of specific content, artists, or public figures over the last 12 months.
More Content Formats
We normally associate YouTube with the classic long form videos. However, today beyond long form videos, Shorts, live streams, and podcasts have also emerged. This means that creators need to keep up with the times and post multiple format types.
And the numbers support this new transition.
87% of people surveyed say they watched at least 4 different content formats on YouTube over the past 12 months, and 67% of Gen Z users say they like when their favorite creators post different formats.
Tools for Improved User Experiences and Creator Ease
As I mentioned above, personalization has improve user experiences, as is more important than ever. Users now have the option to turn on closed captioning and multi-language audio tracks, to reach new audiences, cultures, and languages.
Creators are even using captions to their advantage, by adding context, dropping inside jokes, or providing Easter eggs for viewers.
54% of those surveyed agree that they follow a creator who creates content in a language other than their own.
These tools aren’t just for improving user experiences, but also to help creators edit their videos with ease. One of the stand-out features has been the clipping feature. This allows creators to clip moments from longer videos, to repurpose content or create highlights.
From the survey results, 14M+ videos have been created each month in 2023 using the clipping feature.
Remixing has also been a fan favorite, allowing fans to add audio or video elements from one video to another.
Filters and effects of course can’t go unnoticed. Whether it’s as simple as adding text to the video, or changing the entire look, this can allowed users to customize their content. 65% of Gen Z users that were surveyed say they used a filter, feature, or effect on a video app over the past 12 months.
Lastly, avatars have taken over, and let any viewer present themselves as a new 3D character.
YouTube has been conscience of its user experiences, which is why they have focused on improving their user interface, and creation tools.
AI, AI, AI
This wouldn’t be a complete report without the mention of Artificial Intelligence. As we have seen in this last year, AI has taken off across social media and users can’t get enough.
Generative AI has especially hit the ground running and is being utilized from anywhere to creating animated characters, imagining popular films made my famous directors, producing music from iconic artists, providing new content ideas or drafting full scripts or articles.
From the report, 60% of people surveyed say they’re open to watching content from creators who use AI to generate their content.
Interestingly enough, 52% of those surveyed say they watched a virtual YouTuber (VTuber) over the last 12 months.
YouTube Trends 2023 Conclusion
It’s clear we are emerging in a new digital era, one that encourages more creative freedom through diversifying format types, tools to assist in the creation process, automation, and advanced technologies to lead the way.
These are the main YouTube trends in 2023, which of course will change in the following years. Thanks to YouTube’s Culture and Trends report, we can see at a glance of the technological evolution, consumption patterns, and how users are shaping the current digital world.
And what we can see more than anything is that content creation is no longer limited to experts or content creators.
With these takeaways in mind, you can apply these to your marketing strategy and content plan, to stay relevant and on top of the trends. I will leave this YouTube Marketing Guide from Metricool, so you can leverage your YouTube account and get to creating!