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Culture and Trends

'Like & Describe' episode 2: What will go viral in 2023?

  • By Brian Farnham
  • Executive Editor, Culture & Trends
  • Jan.01.2023
In the second episode of YouTube's first trends podcast, we take a look back at 2022's top videos — and what we can expect to see in 2023.
'Like & Describe' episode 2: What will go viral in 2023?
In the second episode of YouTube's first trends podcast, we take a look back at 2022's top videos — and what we can expect to see in 2023.

With 2022 in the books, it’s a natural time for one to look back on the year while dreaming of what 2023 might bring. For YouTube’s new trends podcast, Like & Describe, that means dropping a second episode, on New Year’s Day, that does exactly that for the world of digital video.

Hosted once again by creator MatPat, episode two takes a look at the videos and creators who made YouTube’s year-end Top 10 lists in the US. As a bonus, MatPat offers his take on what trends he thinks will be showing up on people’s feeds in 2023.

To help him understand what makes it onto the Top 10 lists and why, MatPat enlists the help of two members of YouTube’s Culture & Trends team: Kevin Allocca, its global director, and Maddy Buxton, who’s in charge of tracking trends for the US.

The 2022 lists, which can be found at youtube.com/trends/2022, span 40 countries and cover Top Trending Videos, Top Creators, Breakout Creators, Top Shorts, and Top Music Videos and Songs. But Mat and his guests primarily focus on the US edition and what stood out compared to previous years.

Among the insights they discuss is how important online communities have become, driving the videos that rise to the top and changing how they’re consumed. Whether it’s the infamous “Slap” from the Oscars or the emergence of the creepy Backrooms and “analog horror,” explains Allocca. “These videos are not just things you watch, they’re things… you want to discuss and unpack [and] go beyond the standard viewing experience.”

Mat thinks the influence of MrBeast’s excess-driven stunts will have a far-reaching – and counterintuitive – effect on video next year

The trio also looks at the continuing rise of short-form video. That’s one category, Buxton tells Mat, where the US and the rest of the world share a common theme: a mass of content that is “intentionally created to elicit some sort of positive emotion.” As a result, the Top Shorts lists are full of videos that range from the toilet plunger trick shots of Chris Ivan in the US to sketch comedy in India.

Bringing the episode to an end on a forward-looking note, Allocca and Buxton convince MatPat to reveal what he sees in his crystal ball for 2023. We won’t spoil the predictions here except to tease that Mat thinks the influence of MrBeast’s excess-driven stunts will have a far-reaching – and counterintuitive – effect on video next year.

To listen to the full episode, go to yt.be/likedescribe or search for Like & Describe on any platform where you download podcasts. And of course, if you want to start from the beginning, you can always check out our very first episode right here.