Keeping up with YouTube trends is key to finding long-term success on the platform.
YouTube, like other social media sites, evolves fast. What’s a viral-worthy piece of content one month can disappear into oblivion the next.
But how do you know which trends are crucial to follow if you want to grow your channel? And which ones are passing fads?
We’ve done the research for you. Here are four key 2023 YouTube trends to boost your channel growth, elevate your content, and expand your audience.
To start with, short-form content remains a significant trend on YouTube in 2023.
YouTube launched Shorts as a direct competitor to TikTok and Instagram Reels in 2020. Ever since, it’s been pushing this short-form, vertical video format. With stellar success.
In 2022, Shorts boasted 15 billion daily views.
For creators, Shorts have been a solid opportunity to earn additional income. Throughout 2020 and 2021, YouTube maintained the $100 Million Shorts Fund, which rewarded viral Shorts creators.
In 2023, though, Shorts became a much more central feature on the platform. For one thing, they’re integrated into regular monetization. Creators earn a proportional share of revenue from ads played in-between Shorts.
Plus, Shorts can now also help creators gain access to the YouTube Partner Program. Instead of having to hit 4,000 valid public watch hours, creators can start to monetize their channel with ads once they have 10 M Shorts views under their belt.
The fan funding features – Super Thanks, channel memberships and others – already become available at 3 million Shorts views.
Here’s an example: Trilingual YouTuber Loic Suberville went viral with clips parodying different languages. This Short about French conjugation, published in October 2022, racked over 3.8 million views within 3 months.
Another major YouTube trend in 2023 is responsive creativity.
Hold on. What is that?
According to YouTube’s 2022 Trend and Culture Report, responsive creativity refers to “creation and consumption trends that derive from the ways people adapt video platforms to suit their psychological and emotional needs”.
Since the pandemic hit in 2020, many of us, especially younger people, have been stressed out on a constant basis. Consequently, we turn to platforms like YouTube for comfort, escapism, and chill vibes.
According to the report, 90% of Gen Z have watched videos that helped them feel like they were in a different place, and 82% of them say that they use soothing content to help them relax.
For creators, this means there’s huge content and branding potential in responsive creativity. 62% of Gen Z viewers, for instance, say that they stay loyal to creators that supply comfort vibes.
Scenario-specific music compilations, ASMR content, and ambiance videos have become hugely popular over the past two years. This “dark academia” classical music playlist allows viewers to imagine they’re studying in a library during a rainy night.
A third significant trend identified by YouTube’s report is multi-format creation.
This refers to content that has been re-mixed in various formats. Often, viewers discover new trends, creators, or content types that they grow to like via short-form teasers or even memes.
This is especially true for younger audiences. “Producing and consuming remixable content – often as memes – is a major way that Gen Z and millennials participate in pop culture,” YouTube’s report states.
This means there is a huge opportunity for hybrid creators, those who are comfortable working across multiple media and platforms (and monetization options).
Being a YouTuber in 2023 often means cultivating a much broader social presence. YouTube’s report especially points to content centered around gaming engines, and even metaverse content.
Popular YouTubers such as Mr Beast have successfully leveraged the thrill of building realities in games such as Minecraft. This 100-day hardcore challenge has over 75 million views.
Harnessing Community Creativity
In 2023, community matters more than ever. Most viewers, especially younger audiences, are comfortable integrating themselves into vibrant online communities, even if none of their real-life friends participate. 55% of Gen Z respondents in YouTube’s survey agree that they watch content that no one they know personally is interested in. 61% identify as being passionate super-fans in one or more community.
YouTube is a hot spot for these often very diverse online communities. Communities, even entire fandoms, thrive around topics as diverse as aviation and K-pop, yoga and Taylor Swift, not to mention gaming communities such as Roblox‘.
For creators, this means that it’s essential to slot themselves into existing online communities, and foster the creation of a community among their own viewers. Allowing people to feel connected and interacting with them in spaces such as live streams, subscription platforms like Patreon, or even personalized websites and apps has massive potential.
Yoga YouTuber Adriene, with over 11.5 million subscribers, makes her viewers feel part of an entire community of yogis.
Final Thoughts: The Biggest YouTube Trends in 2023
To find viral YouTube success in 2023, it’s important for both rookie YouTubers and seasoned veterans to keep the trends above in mind.
Short-form content and multi-format remixes can help you drive up your views and expand your audience. Community creativity and responsive creativity can inspire fantastic content ideas and help you convert one-time viewers into loyal subscribers.
Short form content is easily the biggest YouTube trend in 2023. Creators can now monetize Shorts and leverage them to access the YouTube partner program.
Leveraging short-form vertical video is crucial in 2023. Not only are Shorts the fastest-growing format on YouTube, with 15 billion daily views. Many viewers also use short-form teasers to discover longer content that they’ll then watch.
Over the past few years, community creativity and responsive creativity have been booming. This elevates content that allow viewers to feel part of a community, and who provide relaxation, escapism, and comfort.