In a recently released study, Nielsen reported that Facebook’s online video viewing audience has experienced groundbreaking growth since October 2008. Year-over-year, the total time spent viewing video on Facebook increased 1,840% – from 34.9 million minutes in October 2008 to 677.0 million in October 2009. The number of unique viewers of video increased 548% and total streams grew 987% during the same time period, Nielsen said. As a whole, the social networking segment experienced a 98% year-over-year growth rate in terms of video viewing.
The study ranked Facebook first against the competition in the social networking segment, with 217.8 million total video streams viewed in October 2009. MySpace came in second with 85.2 million streams, while Stickam followed with 26.3 million video streams.
“Facebook’s rapid growth in online video during the last year illustrates the site’s evolution from simply a communications focused tool to a media portal,” Jon Gibs, the Nielsen Company’s vice president of media analytics, explained.
“During the past year, online video viewing has become central to the web experience,” Gibs continued. “In conjunction with this increase, we are seeing remarkable growth in video viewing on social networking sites and it is only natural that these two trends would converge in consumers’ minds, making sites like Facebook and MySpace.com, increasingly important distribution points for both consumer and professionally generated video.”
Gibs noted that these measurements signal an evolution of social networking sites from basic communications platforms to those that provide richer venues for personal expression “in the full variety of content formats available online.”
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