- Over 800 million unique visitors each month
- 4 billion+ hours of video watched each month
- 72 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute
Not only are users accessing YouTube’s contents more and more (and also increasingly through mobile devices), the users themselves are becoming more diverse:
- 70% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the US
- YouTube is localized in 43 countries and across 60 languages
In 2011 alone, YouTube had more than 1 trillion views – or about 140 views for every person on Earth. These views are amassed not only on YouTube, but also on other social media sites. People currently watch 500 years worth of videos every day on Facebook, up from 46.2 years in 2010. And Twitter? 700 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter each minute. Those are astronomical numbers, considering 65.7% of the world doesn’t have internet.
How are we, as viewers and subscribers, influenced by this massively popular video sharing site? Megan O’Neil offers five ways YouTube has changed the world.
1. YouTube has made the world smaller.
Before: Read books and articles online, watch documentaries, look at published pictures.
With just one click, anyone can access the plethora of videos available and learn about places and cultures around the world from the natives, gaining a different, more introspective outlook.
Here is a Bhutanese song:
2. YouTube helps people get discovered.
Before: perform at bars or small-scale events and hope that the right person will be there at the right time.
While there is still that factor of chance of whether a record producer will see it, there are sure ways to make your video stand out. Quality is one – either the quality of the video or the quality of your performance, but preferably both. It’s not just limited to singers either. Artists, dancers, actors, and comedians can receive millions of views and become “YouTube famous.”
Just look at what happened to Justin Bieber:
3. YouTube Offers a Platform for Spreading Truth and Inciting Change.
Before: government restrictions limit the amount and type of information shared.
YouTube has become a platform to show the world the reality of situations. Political riots may be glossed over by the government in non-democratic countries.
The Iranian elections, for instance, were filled with corruption:
4. YouTube has Revolutionized Entertainment.
Before: watch television, read books, go to the movies.
YouTube supports a wide variety of videos, from shows, movies, home movies, animated shorts, to web series, all for free. Instead of asking, “have you seen the latest _____?” we now ask our friends if they’ve seen the latest YouTube vid.
One recent video that has become a viral hit is PSY’s Gangnam Style:
5. YouTube has Revolutionized Education.
Before: learn in real life or read manuals.
If there’s anything I want to learn how to do, one of the first places I’ll go is YouTube. The advantage of having a prerecorded video is that you can pause it at any time, or rewind to see a part again, which personalizes learning since not everyone comprehends the same material at the same rate. From augmenting your education to picking up a hobby, YouTube has it all.
One of my favorite channels to watch is Crash Course, where the Vlogbrothers teach biology and history:
YouTube has become so popular and its contents to comprehensive that many prefer it over Netflix or Hulu.