YouTube Trends of the Moment for Savvy Advertisers, August 2018

#InMyFeelingsChallenge, BookTubeAThon, study with me

There were more than 100 million views of #InMyFeelingsChallenge videos in August - Credit by YouTube

For brands, relevancy means tapping into modern culture. And modern culture unfolds daily on YouTube. In this fourth installment of “YouTube Trends of the Moment for Savvy Advertisers,” Earnest Pettie—a YouTube trends analyst who spots videos piquing viewers’ interests—shares three kinds of videos trending now and the insights they reveal.


After the release of Drake’s double album, Scorpion, the internet was quick to create the next big dance craze.

Started from the bottom, now we’re here: First created by comedian Shiggy, the social challenge was initially called the #DoTheShiggy challenge. It spread like wildfire through YouTube, garnering participation from celebrities and creators from around the world and evolving into the #InMyFeelingsChallenge. In a little more than one month, the challenge took over the internet, helped Drake top the charts and garnered Shiggy a spot in the official music video. In August, we saw more than 100 million views of #InMyFeelingsChallenge videos.

Global impact: In a short amount of time, In My Feelings became a soundtrack to a global cultural moment, reaching countries far beyond the U.S. and Canada. This shows that influencers can reach far outside their local markets and, with the right opportunities, can become the center of social conversation in an authentic way.

Fill in the blanks: Although Drake hadn’t released a music video for In My Feelings, fans filled in the blanks with the #InMyFeelingsChallenge, providing a fun visual for a beloved song long before Drake was able to. Marketers may want to consider how they can leave blanks for fans to fill in, whether in ad campaigns or other content. It invites engagement and allows fans to feel they are a part of something bigger than themselves.


BookTubeAThon is an annual readathon that celebrates and unites the international BookTube community through one week of reading challenges, such as reading seven books in seven days or reading an entire book wearing a hat.

The community: Since its creation by Ariel Bissett, BookTubeAThon has been a multiplatform event with daily vlogs hosted by popular BookTube creators, a deeply collaborative and passionate community. The BookTube community continues to grow and, as a whole, has gotten over 200 million views. Compared to this time last year, BookTuber video viewership is up 40 percent.

Promoting the positive: BookTubeAThon was started with the intent to celebrate the intersection of books and digital media—two media that weren’t initially seen as natural allies. It illustrates the power of a community in which people encourage one another to get involved in positive activities, like reading and learning about new topics. BookTubeAThon is a moment when a community comes together to celebrate the joy they find through the products they love.

Study with me

In “study with me” videos, viewers are invited to watch—and join—people who filmed themselves studying. This back-to-school season, think of them as a video version of a study buddy.

The power players: The power players behind the most-viewed study with me videos categorize themselves as productivity channels. Along with study livestreams, they create motivational and instructional vlogs designed to help students stay disciplined and focused. Thomas Frank, whose 25-minute study with me video is one of the most-viewed of this genre on YouTube, offers both types of video on his channel. The Strive to Fit was created by a medical student and offers instructional videos, as well as inspirational ones. She created a separate The Strive Studies channel that features study videos that range in length from 30 minutes to almost two hours.

Focus for results: These videos offer a way to avoid the risk of being distracted by a real-life friend. And they can serve as a timer to show viewers how long they’ve been studying or how long an undistracted task realistically takes to complete. Study with me videos serve as a tool for combating procrastination and loneliness—and instilling healthy real-life study habits.

Strength in numbers: One person commented on a recent study video, “I’ve used this four or five times already in the past two weeks. Didn’t think these types of videos would actually work for me, but it’s helping me stay incredibly focused.” Remember your lonely college days in the library? Study with me videos fill that void and make the act of studying feel a little less isolating.

One to watch: YouTube has over 1 billion views of learning-related videos every day, making education a vertical to watch for advertisers. And when it comes to study with me videos, they prove to marketers that in a world full of distractions, a video on YouTube can be anything but.

Earnest Pettie is a YouTube trends analyst who looks at trending videos piquing viewer interest and what they say about human behavior.