If you needed any more proof of just how large and important social networking has become, the following bit of news should convince you. When you think of online video, sites like YouTube and Hulu probably come to mind, but you should add Facebook to that list. The social networking giant is ranked number three for video streams worldwide, according to research by Nielsen.
The firm looked at statistics for various video sites in October, and YouTube came out as the top provider. They had a monumental 6.6 billion streams delivered, which put their closest competitor to shame -- Hulu netted around 632 million streams. Surprisingly, however, the number three spot went to Facebook, who served 217 million videos. Further, Nielsen found that the amount of time actually spent on Facebook for the purpose of viewing videos increased a massive 1,840% over the past year. That surpassed the growth in online video viewing as a whole, which roughly doubled.
The speculation is that Facebook has evolved beyond social networking, and is instead morphing into a media hub. Nielsen may be right, and with hundreds of millions of subscribers already, Facebook has the userbase to try nearly any service they want.