This Data Scientist Did an Analysis of YouTube Trending Content to Describe What Makes a Video Viral / Digital Information World

YouTube’s Trending tab displays videos that a lot of users around the globe would find interesting, and several content creators want to know more about the internal working of this tab. How and why this tab surfaces some seemingly popular clips. It is likely that YouTube will never describe what makes a YouTube video hit the trending tab. However, Ammar Alyousfi, a data scientist did an analysis of YouTube trending videos, and provided a huge amount of data about every YouTube video that hit the Trending tab last year.

In order to compile his report, he ran an automated script that collected data from the tab each day throughout the year 2019.

According to the report, 11,177 unique clips hit the Trending tab in 2019, and a total of 72,994 videos were displayed in the tab. However, several videos trended for more than one day. Alyousfi examined data on all the 72,994 videos and included 3 occurrences of a video if that video trended for 3 days. The data shows that 6 videos trended for thirty days, three of which were related to BTS, a popular kpop band, who is behind the most watched YouTube video of 2019.

90% of YouTube videos hit the Trending tab when they had less than 2,752,317 views, Alyousfi found. According to the report, none of the longest-trending YouTube video came from channels that most frequently created trending videos. Linus Tech Tips was the top trending channel of last year, which had 365 videos appeared on the Trending tab. Binging with Babish ranked second in the list of top trending channels with nearly 360 trending videos.

So, what are the factors that helps a video to hit the Trending tab? According to the report, Trending uploads were spread pretty evenly across the seven days of a week. Tuesday was the highest posting day with nearly 11,986 trending clips. In comparison, Saturday lagged behind all other days of the week with nearly 7,345 Trending videos. Videos that were uploaded between noon and 2 PM (based on Washington Time) were most likely to become Trending videos, while those uploaded between 6 am and 11 am (GMT-4) were least likely to hit Trending.

You may also note that most of the viral content did not hit the Trending tab on the actual date they were uploaded. Alyousfi states that on average, videos hit the Trending tab after 5 or 6 days of publishing, and it took less than 13 days for 95 percent of the content to appear in the Trending section. He also highlighted various interesting stats among video titles such as 50% of Trending content had no all-caps words in their titles.

“While the allowed maximum (limit in YouTube description box) is 5,000 character, most trending videos have their descriptions length between 500 and 1500 characters.”

Discussing the length of the titles, generally it was between 36 and 64 characters, and the most common words in these titles include trailer, vs, 2019, highlights, first, music, game, challenge, official, and video.

Almost all Trending clips used tags, according to Alyuosfi, the average number of tags used in a Trending video is 21. Only 3.5% of Trending videos on YouTube used no tags.

Read next: YouTube’s New Monetization Metric Tells Creators Exactly How Much They Earn from Their Videos per 1,000 Views

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