OkCupid is one of the internet’s largest free dating service with over 3.5 million active users. OkTrends is OkCupid’s “original research and insights” division, compiling observations and statistics from literally hundreds of millions of OkCupid user interactions in order to assess, evaluate, and explore the “data side of the online dating world.”

Christian Rudder and the OkTrends crew leverage data collected from their massive userbase to publish amazing reports on everything from what white people actually like to what combination of eye contact, smile, and skin makes for the most engaging profile picture to why younger men should be more open to dating older women.

It’s about time the world’s largest video sharing site did something similar.

YouTube Trends is a brand new YouTube destination devoted to making sense of the 35 hours of video uploaded to the site every minute, as well as the viewing actions of over 146,000,000 unique monthly visitors.

Kevin Allocca (current YouTube Trends Manager and former and former editor of TVNewser and The Huffington Posts’s 236.com) and his YouTube Trends team hope to boil down YouTube’s hulking data set into something pretty and palatable for both pro and casual online video consumers.

That includes a Twitter-style list of trending videos and topics on the YouTube Trends homepage, twice-daily collections (one posted at 4AM EST, the other at 4PM EST) of four videos making big splashes across YouTube and other web destinations, an in-depth OkTrends-like blog with sleek billboards, charts, visualizations and other graphically oriented ways of displaying research findings, and a dashboard that allows users to drill down into specific geographical locations and demographics to see what videos are trending, where, and with whom.

For instance, right now 30 Rock‘s diss on Arizona State is on the top 10 list in my hometown of TucsonKobe Bryant and Dr. Dre make the cut in Los Angeles’ 65+ crowd, and Justin Bieber is popular with everyone around the globe (except Ozzy Osbourne).

Google Trends and Zeitgeist have long been a staple of YouTube’s parent company. It’s about time the powers that be decided to evaluate video with a similar intensity. As YouTube Trends develops, Allocca says 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.”

Ideally, making all that data digestible will do more than simply make for interesting graphs. It could benefit everything from online advertising revenues, to discovering independent talent, to the dissemination of regional news stories. Not to mention, comparing and contrasting popular videos amongst different localities and age groups makes for a great way to spend an afternoon (seriously).

If you’re like me and get easily sucked into mining the YouTube Trends charts, be sure to let us know what you discover.

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