If you’ve ever found yourself wanting some immature yet strangely satisfying entertainment in your lunch hour, you’re probably well acquainted with YouTube. With such classics as ‘Charlie bit my finger’, and ‘The 100 people prank’, one needn’t look any further for all manner of time-wasting joy. And now the site has revealed that it attracts four billion clicks per day from people accessing the 72 hours per minute of new content being uploaded from around the world. But its owner, Google remains coy on whether all that user engagement is generating any serious money.
The site has been helped by massive growth in the uptake of Internet globally, which has accelerated thanks to the explosion of wealth in emerging economies. The number of users uploading content – home videos, music and TV clips – has more than doubled in the last two years.
YouTube began life as a techie startup In California, but having failed to make any serious money, was purchased by Google in 2006 for $1.65bn. In recent years Google began featuring promotional content on videos and new advertisement slots from its Adsense programme. They don't publish any figures on how that’s going for them, however.
It is the third most visited website behind Google and Facebook, and we know why. Hold on, we’ve just found a clip of an orang-utan smoking a cigarette…