Google-owned video sharing website YouTube has hit a billion monthly users due to growth in internet and smartphones.
Launched in February 2005, the company provided users a service to upload and distribute video online. It was acquired by search giant Google for $1.65bn in 2006.
The company, in a statement, said: “If YouTube were a country, we’d be the third largest in the world after China and India. Nearly one out of every two people on the internet visits YouTube.”
Brian Wieser, analyst at Pivotal Research, estimates that YouTube generated $1.3bn in video advertising in 2012. Wieser told the Financial Times: “It’s possible that the more successful YouTube is [among users], the less successful it is financially. We just don’t know. Increasing users is important but what really matters is whether they are getting more advertisers and whether they are growing that faster than the capital and operating costs.”
Gangnam Style, the recent South Korean pop hit, became the first YouTube video to reach one billion views. Digital advertising market is projected to be worth $42bn in the US alone in 2013, according to research firm eMarkerer.
Social networking service Facebook also reached a billion users milestone in October 2012.