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YouTube traffic milestone: what it says about us

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Billions and billions served. That used to be McDonald's claim to fame. Now it's true for YouTube. The video-sharing site just turned five years old, and it celebrated in style by announcing a new traffic milestone: two billion videos served. Daily.

The sheer bandwidth is mind-boggling: 24 hours of video are uploaded every minute. YouTube's audience now doubles the total viewers of US prime-time television.

YouTube is looking for more. The average person spends only "15 minutes a day on the site," co-founder Chad Hurley told BBC News – "compared to five hours a day watching TV."

If we are what we consume, then critics could cynically look to America as the land of Big Macs and finger-biting videos. But looking only at the empty calories of our mental consumption misses the bigger story.

If a picture is worth a thousand words and video is worth a thousand pictures, then YouTube – by making it easy so easy to broadcast ourselves – has triggered a genuine communication revolution.

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