Dec. 14, 2010 at 3:24 PM ET
For those overwhelmed by the 35 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, Google has come up with a solution: they'll give you "what's poppin', as it's poppin' " (or, the "recommended daily dose of all the best in online video") via YouTube Trends. You don't have to wait for viral to come to you the natural way anymore. Get ahead of your Facebook friends and Twitter followers and look like the hippest kid on the block, if you think being hip is defined by how fast you spread the viral love.
In the badly auto-tuned infomercial above (sorry, Gregory Brothers!), we learn the threshold for viral: "From something just for tweens to the talk of soccer moms," which leads to my favorite line: "You know it's viral when you get it from your mommy."
YouTube Trends algorithmically generates feeds that give the YouTube surfer top trending videos and topics. Included in today's top trending topics: Dolphin Dolphins (Miami Dolphins), a fight between hockey players Alexander Ovechkin and Brandon Dubinsky, and Philadelphia Eagles' DeSean Jackson's 91-yard touchdown against the Cowboys.
YouTube recently revealed its list of top 10 viral videos of the year, as shown here on the "TODAY" show.
Check the YouTube Trends homepage twice a day to see a collection of videos called "4 at 4" (a.m. and p.m.) drawn from the previously mentioned feeds and from "top video curation sites around the Web." (The "Dogs with Hands" video is a little freaky, but I could see how it would catch on.)
YouTube Trends will also come with a blog (of course) with posts that seek to bring you more insights about the videos and trends, and provide context in how they become part of our (pop) culture.
For instance, this post explaining how Justin Bieber's "Baby" became the most-watched video of 2010 (and also helped make the Bieb the only other artist besides Lady Gaga to go over 1 billion views on their YouTube channel) is actually kind of interesting:
It's also currently the most-viewed music video of all-time.
Unlike most other really popular music videos which see a big spike when first released, "Baby" has held a large, steady audience every month since it was posted...
According to YouTube data, there's a sharp rise in views for "Baby" every seven days each Saturday. In fact, over the 90 days we looked at, Saturday views were one third higher than the average for other days of the week.
YouTube Trends also incorporates a new dashboard that allows users to check out what's hot not only worldwide, but much closer to home. You can browse videos popular in specific countries or cities, or choose the global perspective.
This navigator to the YouTube experience will also have: "Billboard-style charts, cool data visualizations, and features highlighting what the YouTube ecosystem can tell us about major events as they unfold. As the project evolves, it will act as a laboratory for our engineers and staff to test out new ways of uncovering, displaying, and providing context for important or interesting video trends."
Right now, there are other sites that are already doing what YouTube Trends does, notably Magma, which culls videos from not only YouTube, but Hulu, Twitter and the New York Times, to name a few of its sources.