Josh Ong is the US Editor at The Next Web. He previously worked as TNW's China Editor and LA Reporter. Follow him on Twitter or email him a Josh Ong is the US Editor at The Next Web. He previously worked as TNW's China Editor and LA Reporter. Follow him on Twitter or email him at [email protected].
Google has announced that YouTube is now at 1 billion monthly users. Assuming Wolfram Alpha’s estimate of 6.79 billion people on Earth, that means roughly 14.7% of the world watches something on YouTube every month.
Take a moment to let that sink in.
Google says that the video site reaches almost one out of every two people on the Internet. Its monthly viewership would make it the planet’s third-largest country, behind China and India.
These feats are all the more interesting considering that Google was criticized for over-paying for the site when it bought YouTube for $1.65 billion in 2006. It’s fair to say that the acquisition has proven to be a shrewd one, with YouTube far and away the Web’s most popular video site.
Late last year, Google celebrated its first billion-view video: PSY’s Gangnam Style. The achievement came a bit out of nowhere, as prior to PSY’s dance craze, Justin Bieber was on track to set the record.
YouTube has already accomplished several notable achievements this year. This week, it is kicking off a new channel and talent search competition with Simon Cowell. Famous director Ridley Scott recently validated the platform by signing on to produce 12 short films for top YouTube channel Machinima. Google also revealed on Wednesday that all of Ad Age’s Top 100 brands are running campaigns on YouTube.
Google will need to continue to pursue a global strategy if it wants to reach the next billion with its video service. The company is showing interest in the Middle East, having recently expanded its Partner Program to Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Asia is going to be a key frontier for YouTube, as the service is currently blocked in mainland China.
Internally, YouTube has also received some validation from Google. The company has just added YouTube searches to its Google Trends data. The search history dates back to 2008, so now you can track how popular specific types of videos have been over the years.
YouTube isn’t the recent arrival to the billionaire club. Facebook reached 1 billion monthly active users for the first time in October 2012. That number grew to 1.06 billion at the end of January this year; of which 680 million visit the social network from a mobile device at least once per month.
See also: Google recounts how YouTube helped share global news from around the world in 2012
Image Credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images
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