April 23 2005 (only 7 years ago), "me at the zoo" was the first video ever uploaded onto YouTube. Last year it celebrated its one trillionth upload and it's the third most visited site after Facebook and Google.
4 billion of us view YouTube every single day and it was bought by Google for 1.6 billion usd in 2006.
YouTube has in fact become a mixture of television news and citizen journalism. It's one really powerful platform and it's having an impact on traditional news.
1 out of 15 searches are news related (the Japanese tsunami video being most watched with over 20 million views last year) but the 20 similar tsunami videos had 96 million views.
And what's interesting, is that news organisations are posting their own videos on YouTube and then linking from their site. About 51% of videos are from such organisations with an average length of 2 minutes and 1 second.
So say, The Telegraph produce a video, they post it on YouTube and link it back.
They are in effect, feeding their news competitor rather than storing and pushing the videos from their own servers. So if you look at a national daily newspaper online say, in Ireland, you will see them pushing eyeballs onto YouTube by linking videos. And perhaps the answer is so what?
It is unlikely after all, that there's a news site anywhere in the world that doesn't link to YouTube which is in itself, insane.
However, this is a storm that's ripe for the dissemination and the creation and sharing of false, malicious news. It's already happened to CNN and others.
There simply is no way of checking the credible source issue - although BBC have set up 50 people in their "Hub" to do just that.
New credible research published this week by 'The Pew Research Center', an American think tank based in Washington (http://pewresearch.org/) shows this frankly bizarre, symbiotic relationship between citizens posting videos and then having it shared by traditional news organisations.
Which is in itself, news organisations directly adopting and fostering citizen journalism. News organisations are in fact posting videos without any clear source attribution and citizens are posting copyrighted material. 72 hours of video are uploaded every minute so you can see the checking task in that alone.
The Pew Research shows that more than 70% of Adults have used the site and 28% of us visit YouTube or similar sites everyday (one third are USA based). Massive numbers - which shows that this type of citizen journalism is here to stay. It's what people want - clear unbiased news "as it happens". Until, of course, they themselves are featured.
According to The Huffington Post who are about to go live on August 13 with their massive citizen venture, they quote Amy Mitchell, deputy director of the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism as;
"There's a new form of video journalism on this platform. It's a form in which the relationship between news organizations and citizens is more dynamic and more multiverse than we've seen in most other platforms before."
YouTube says it's not entering the game of news creation but rather, acting as a catalyst, an outlet, for those that do. Although their "partner programme" is aimed at producing content on a revenue share. They have also grant aided content providers.
It would be mad for Google not to utilise the world's biggest news site, in this era of citizen journalism, despite what they say. Expect something like "YouTube News". Simply, it has to come.
According to Pew; "The evolving government and media policies toward YouTube make understanding the nature of what news content is on the site and which is most popular all the more important".
What's now being considered is that we might have created a monster and perhaps it needs regulation. That's exactly what that quote in red means.
In essence the point is that YouTube is THE serious player regarding news and generating mass traffic. What's now being considered is that we might have created a monster and perhaps it needs regulation.
What we definitely have, is the world's largest news organisation - ever.
And forgive me -