It’s that time of year where we’ll start to see lots of articles about trends that affected 2011 and predictions for trends that will define 2012. Often these kinds of posts just recap what was popular during the prior year without really diving any deeper than that.

Today, I stumbled across a great article from Greg Jarboe from Reel SEO that provides a more strategic look at three YouTube trends that defined 2011 that look beyond popularity numbers. In his article, Greg cites three key trends:

1. Video Clips that Drive Citizen Movements

2010 was the year that Twitter became a vital part of real-time citizen movements from political uprisings to efforts to help victims of natural disasters, but in 2011, YouTube brought a new visual dimension to these movements. As Jarboe explains, videos uploaded to YouTube by people on the streets during political uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya have changed the way people get information and ultimately, the way people think and act.

2. Streaming Live Events

Jarboe also cites the launch of YouTube Live, which integrates live streaming of events into the YouTube platform, as another trend that defined 2011. From the British Royal Wedding to concerts and interviews, the addition of live streaming brought a new dimension to YouTube that is likely to grow in use and importance for years to come.

3. Tools to Create Online Videos without a Video Camera

YouTube also launched a new section of its website that highlights partner companies and tools that people can use to create online videos without a video camera or much of the traditional equipment that video publishers require. Suddenly, the ability to create online video content is easier than ever and available to more people than ever!

Bottom-line, Authoritative Content publishers understand that popularity doesn’t always equate to strategic trend analysis. It’s trends like the ones Jarboe referenced in his article that truly defined 2011 and will have an ongoing and significant effect on online video in 2012 and beyond.

What do you think were the YouTube or general online video trends that defined 2011? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

Image: Flickr