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12 YouTube Video Trends in 2021

Last Updated on May. 27, 2021 – by David Morgan
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YouTube is unstoppable. It sees over two billion logged-in users each month that doesn't even include the visitors who do not create or log into an account. Because of its popularity, YouTube video trends change and emerge constantly. Whether you’re a YouTube creator or casual user, keeping up with these trends will help you stay current with the larger YouTube user base. 

We’ve analyzed YouTube videos from the past few months to determine overall YouTube trends, topic trends, video trends, and editing trends. Read ahead to learn more about what’s popular on YouTube in 2021.

  1. YouTube Trends
  2. YouTube Topic Trends 2021
  3. Video Trends 2021
  4. New Video Editing Trends
  5. Final Thoughts

1. YouTube Trends

As the YouTube user base continues to shift and grow, new trends emerge that set the stage for how creators and viewers interact with the site. 

Gamers Dominate

putting hands in front of the monitor

If you aren’t into video games, you may not realize how popular this genre is throughout YouTube. According to YouTube’s 2020 statistics, users watched over 100 billion hours of gaming content in 2020—double the number of hours users watched in 2018. The site currently has over 40 million active gaming channels. 

Seeing It as a Search Engine

Have you ever typed a query such as “how to jump-start a car” or “election results” directly into the YouTube search bar?  If so, you aren’t alone. YouTube is technically the second largest search engine on the web because of how many search queries it sees per month—over 3 billion, as of January 2020. 

The overwhelming amount of content on YouTube almost guarantees that you will find the answer to any question you search in the YouTube search bar. As a result, many users have begun implementing YouTube as their primary search engine. 

It’s Continuing to Grow

Even though YouTube already sees over 2 billion users each month, the platform continues to grow. The number of global YouTube users increased by 5.6% in 2020, with a projected growth of 4.9% in 2021. While growth has slowed significantly over the years, new users continue to create accounts each day. 

2. YouTube Topic Trends 2021

Every year sees a new subsection of trending video topics. While creators filled the platform with pandemic-related videos in 2020, 2021 has seen more casual YouTube trending topics. The most popular are how-to videos, ASMR content, and immersive shopping experiences. 

Training/How-to Videos

pointing at makeup tool

Typing “how to” into the YouTube search bar will bring up suggested videos ranging from how to do everyday tasks such as learning how to tie a tie to specific instructions such as how to change your display name on Roblox. One of the best ways to learn a new skill is by watching a video, and the outstanding amount of content on YouTube means there will most likely be dozens of teachers to choose from for any given topic. 


A niche genre that has expanded to be one of the most popular YouTube trends, ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) videos are some of the most surprising videos on our trending list. Fans of this genre report that ASMR videos produce relaxing sensory tingles that start in the scalp, known as “brain massages.” 

As of June 2020, there are over 11 million global searches for ASMR content on YouTube each month. Even if ASMR videos aren’t your cup of tea, you can’t deny that they have exploded in popularity in recent years. 

Immersive Shopping

If you have ever watched a YouTube video that led you to purchase a specific product, you have participated in “immersive shopping.” This new YouTube trend includes videos ranging from “hauls” (a YouTuber showing and trying on items they recently purchased) to “shop with me” experiences to gift guides. 

A recent study found that 80% of online shoppers saw the product they were planning to buy in a YouTube video. Immersive shopping videos have immense influence over consumer shopping trends—when these videos go viral, stores often sell out of the items featured in the videos. 

3. Video Trends 2021

New trends have also emerged in recent years regarding the types of videos YouTubers create. If you go to the “trending” tab at any given moment, you will probably find at least one live stream, “subscribers decide” video, and YouTube short in the list of trending videos. 

Live Streaming

recording with phone

Live Streams have become more popular on the YouTube platform in recent years. Daily live streams increased by 45% in the first half of 2020, and 58% of live stream viewers reported that watching live videos helped them feel connected during the pandemic. 

This trend has continued into 2021, and you can find thousands of live streams at any given time about a wide range of topics—not just gaming. 

Subscribers Decide

Popular YouTubers have also begun integrating “subscribers decide” videos into their regular content. In these videos, creators make decisions based on the results of polls from their subscribers. A few popular types of “subscribers decide” videos include:

  • Subscribers decide my outfit
  • Subscribers decide what game I play
  • Subscribers determine what I eat for 24 hours

These videos allow viewers to feel connected to their favorite creators, even if those creators have millions of subscribers participating in their polls. 

YouTube Shorts

You may not have heard the term “YouTube shorts,” but you have probably seen these videos if you are an active YouTube user. YouTube shorts are short-form videos that creators shoot using only their smartphones.

Shorts must be fifteen seconds or less, and instead of uploading them to their regular channel pages, creators post these videos in a specific “shorts” tab. YouTube rolled out shorts in the U.S. in March 2021, and since then, they have become a popular trend with the broader YouTube user base. 

4. New Video Editing Trends

If you have been a YouTube user for more than a few years, you’ve probably witnessed how editing styles have changed over time. In 2021, creators have turned to editing trends such as mobile video editing, 360-degree videos, and 4K video quality.

Mobile Editing

Gone are the days of using a clunky, hard-to-navigate video editing software to edit YouTube videos. While some creators still edit on a desktop, casual vloggers and everyday content creators have begun using mobile apps to edit their clips before uploading them. 

PowerDirector is a popular video editing app available on the Google Play and Apple app stores. Many YouTubers have begun using this app to edit the content they shot on their smartphones, significantly streamlining the editing and uploading process. 

This app includes all of the tools and features you need to create a high-quality, viral video without switching to a desktop platform. A few of its most advanced features include:

  • Blending effect
  • Chroma key
  • Mask overlays
  • Multi-track timeline
  • Transitions
  • Titles and stickers

Each of these tools is easy to use and navigate, even on a smartphone screen. 

Mobile editing has allowed YouTubers to increase the amount of content they produce each week or month without spending any additional time and money on editing costs. As apps like PowerDirector continue to update their features, we wouldn’t be surprised if the power of app editing eventually surpasses desktop editing.

360 Video

360-degree videos, or immersive videos, allow viewers to drag their screens to view a landscape as if they were turning in a complete circle. When 360 first came out a lot people thought it would be the next big thing. It never really did but in recent months it has been growing in popularity. 

These videos really started growing in popularity in 2020 when the pandemic prevented people from traveling internationally. YouTube users could watch 360-degree videos and transport themselves virtually to another location and time, removing them from their current realities. 

Not every video editing program has 360-degree capability. Many YouTubers turn to software like PowerDirector 365 to create these videos, a program that makes it easy to cut 360-degree videos. 

Once you import a 360-degree video from your camera to the PowerDirector timeline, a 360 editor will open that allows you to add titles, stabilize your footage and more. 

4K Video

 YouTube allows creators to upload videos in 4K, creating a clearer, more detailed video image and enhancing the viewing experience. 

Some editing programs cannot handle 4K videos, and as a result, many YouTubers have begun using the PowerDirector app or PowerDirector 365 to edit their 4K footage. These programs allow you to export or upload directly to YouTube in 4K, ensuring that videos do not lose their resolution quality in the editing process. 

5. Final Thoughts

YouTube is undoubtedly one of the most popular websites on the internet, and viewers, creators, and casual passersby alike can benefit from knowing the current trends impacting YouTube culture. 

Trends from the COVID-19 pandemic have continued to influence YouTube content into 2021, as 360-degree videos, immersive shopping experiences, and live streams rank highly in the YouTube trending tab. 

Additionally, emerging trends, such as YouTube shorts, have shaped the ways YouTubers interact with the platform and impacted what types of content users expect from their favorite creators. 

Because video editing trends change frequently, choosing an editing program that can handle modern editing styles is a necessity. If you have a YouTube channel or plan to start one soon, you should conduct adequate research to find an editing program that meets your needs. 

Download PowerDirector today to begin creating videos for these growing YouTube trends.  

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