It's time once again for YouTube's annual rewind, featuring the most popular clips on the video-sharing site from the past year.
Watching an average of 4 billion hours of videos per month, YouTube users fueled the explosive popularity of a number of trends, from "Call Me Maybe" lip synching to the K-pop sensation that is the pony dance. In fact, the biggest trending video on YouTube this past year (and this really shouldn't come as a huge surprise to anyone) was the "Gangnam Style" music video by South Korean superstar Psy. According to YouTube, the song racked up nearly 1 billion views in just 6 months, making it the most-watched YouTube video ever.
Last year, the site's most popular video was Rebecca Black's weekend anthem "Friday," which at the time of YouTube's 2011 Rewind had amassed a total of 179,869,966 views (a combination of views on a newer version of the video and an older version that was pulled from the site before the year-end review was posted). On December 18, 2012, "Gangnam Style" had slightly more than 971 million views.
In a post on the site's blog, YouTube teased a few more details from its list of the top 10 trending videos and reflected on how we used the service this year:
This year, Korean Pop music transcended boundaries and took the world by storm. Cover songs, parodies, and "do-it-yourself" music videos from all genres entertained us in countries near and far. And you participated in conversations at a global scale, uploading videos to share ideas on everything from nonprofit campaigns, to political satire, to new and surprising voices and talents. Plus, all over the world, you tuned in for the most up-to-date news footage of presidential elections, natural disasters and more.
For all 10 of the year's top trending YouTube videos, take a look at the slideshow (below). For more video trends from 2012, visit YouTube's Year In Review channel, where you can explore the biggest trends, broken down by category and geographic location. You can also take a walk down memory lane by reviewing the most-watched YouTube videos from 2011 (here).