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YouTube celebrates eighth birthday

Google’s video sharing site YouTube has celebrated turning eight by posting some impressive user stats on its blog.

The site began its life this month in 2005 as a place for users to upload their creative work in the public domain at no cost. While it still plays this role, it has evolved to be hugely popular among attention-hungry brands, both large and small.

The site’s remarkable growth is demonstrated by the fact that users now upload in excess of 100 hours of footage every minute.

Celebrating the milestone, YouTube said on its blog:

“When YouTube’s site first launched in May 2005, we never could have imagined the endless ways in which you would inspire, inform and entertain us every day. Every month, more than one billion people come to YouTube to access news, answer questions and have a little fun. That’s almost one out of every two people on the internet.”

YouTube’s popularity hit new heights last year when a video posted by South Korean pop singer Psy became the first upload to reach one billion views (the view count currently stands at more than 1.6 billion), showing the sheer power visual content can have if it ‘goes viral’.

The astonishing figures reflect a growing hunger among internet users for visual content. This has no doubt been driven by the thriving smartphone and tablet markets. Particularly with smartphone devices, many of the major manufacturers are releasing handsets with larger, HD-capable screens. Korean firm Samsung, for example, recently unveiled the Galaxy Mega, which boasts a 6.3 inch screen. The device also supports a video resolution of 720p – matching the capabilities of many modern television sets.

Many small businesses are realising the potential of using visual content to attract consumer attention. This also stretches to the use of attractive, relevant infographics.

Graeme has experience creating content for online sources and for the radio, and at university he studied Multimedia Journalism.

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