28 December 2008

Video surge drives social networking

As we hurtle headlong through the cultural and technological revolution that is ushering in our digital age, we find video is touching the lives of more people than ever before: on screens and monitors, through cameras and phones, at home and at play, in business and public administration. Nowhere is video more ubiquitous today than on the internet and it is incredible to consider that YouTube was launched barely three years ago. With 36 percent of US Internet users downloading video streaming online by the end of 2006, up from 28 percent at the end of 2005, online video has replaced music as the key driver of growth in digital media, and social networking is fast emerging as the "dominant online behavior", according researcher Ipsos. By last June, online traffic using web browsers overtook file-sharing peer-to-peer networks for the first time:
"Chalk it up to YouTube and other Internet video sharing sites. The surge in HTTP traffic is largely a surge in the use of streaming media, mostly video... YouTube alone has grown so big that it now accounts for 20 percent of all HTTP traffic, or more than half of all HTTP streaming video."
From an advocacy, publicity and marketing perspective, the viral video has opened a vital new channel for organisations to reach a younger, ever-more eclectic public.