YouTube opened the kimono on some of its most valuable analytics today, showcasing its most popular videos in different geographic areas as well as across demographic groups. The newly launched YouTube Trends site bills itself as a sort of Zeitgeist for online video, complete with catchy video clips about the most significant videos of 2010 and charts of trending topics and videos on YouTube. However, the most interesting feature is the Trends Dashboard, which allows users to explore the most popular videos in dozens of U.S. cities as well as more than 20 countries worldwide.
Users can, for example, check out in real time which videos are popular in Honolulu or Hong Kong. The site lists either the ten most watched or most shared videos utilizing data from its Twitter and Facebook integration.
The Dashboard also offers the ability to drill down further by specifying the age range and gender of viewers and compare up to three distinct audience groups. This can lead to fascinating results, showing, for example, that a video featuring Bill Clinton appearing with President Obama is hugely popular in South Korea, and that Justin Bieber seems to have far more fans in Sweden than in France. Check out the video embedded below for a more detailed look at Google Trends:
All drooling about data porn aside, there’s something more profound about this type of location- and demographics-based approach toward exploring popular videos. YouTube has seen its catalog grow exponentially, and the site is now seeing 35 hours of video uploaded every minute. With all these clips available, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to surface new and unknown videos that match a user’s interest.
YouTube Trends reveals that Google has some more tricks up its sleeve to make discovery more personalized — and one shouldn’t be too surprised to see some of these mechanisms make their way to the home page to showcase 33-year-old, female viewers from Atlanta exactly the videos they’re interested in.
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