This is the latest in our series of YouTube highlights. Every couple of weeks, we bring you an update on new product features, interesting programs to watch, and tips you can use to grow your audience on YouTube. Just look for the label “YouTube Highlights” and subscribe to the series. – Ed.

Since our last update, we’ve taken a look at the year on YouTube, asked for your ideas on how to make the world a better place, launched a series of contests and announced a wave of new features. We have a lot to cover!

The year on YouTube
From videos that blew our minds to ones that made dreams come true, the Top 10 YouTube videos show what video stars captured the world’s attention this year. In the past year, viewers watched more than 700 billion YouTube videos, and uploaded more than 13 million hours of video. See what people watched in 2010:

We are also counting down YouTube highlights for the year with the New Year’s Countdown.

Your ticket to Davos, Switzerland
Do you have an idea about how to close the poverty gap? If so, submit it to the Davos Debates program for a chance to win an all-access pass to the World Economic Forum in Davos. To enter, submit a one-minute video sharing your ideas about the importance of inclusive growth—economic growth that benefits everyone—a key theme of this year’s event. The deadline to submit your ideas is January 14, so visit the Davos channel today.

Your vote counts on YouTube
Your opinion can help determine bragging rights for artists of all stripes. Get the chance to weigh in on your favorite music star, auditions for the YouTube Symphony Orchestra—and find out who won another recent competition.
  • Rihanna or Justin Bieber? Show these artists how devoted you are with the MyYouTube contest. Artists score points if you subscribe to their channels and share with your friends. You, in turn, get their latest videos delivered to your YouTube homepage and get to win some great prizes.
  • We’re down to 336 finalists from 46 countries for the YouTube Symphony Orchestra, and voting ends on December 17. The winners will perform for a global audience at the Sydney Opera House in March 2011.
  • The winner of this month’s “On the Rise” competition is the irresistible Jack Russell terrier, Jesse. Check out some of his fun antics.

Creating an efficient, healthy home
Ask any working parent and they’ll tell you they have two jobs: the day job, and the one that takes up all the other hours of the day—that of “Chief Household Officer” (CHO). A new YouTube series from HP takes you inside the lives of women who meet the demands of work and family using new media know-how.

Eating right can also be a challenge for busy families. Sesame Street and Chef Art Smith have teamed up to raise awareness about how families can eat healthy food on a budget. See what Elmo and Chef Art have to say.

New features for YouTube
We’ve made a handful of updates over the last two weeks to make your viewing experience and more robust:
And we announced the three-year anniversary of Content ID, a technology that lets rights holders control their content online.

Google Apps for YouTube
Businesses and organizations using Google Apps can now use YouTube. YouTube can help Google Apps customers in lots of ways—whether archiving company videos, marketing their company through branded video channels, or assisting with private, internal communications.

We’ll update you again in a few weeks. Till then, for more information on what we’re up to, head on over to our YouTube Blog. Happy holidays and see you in 2011!