While many see the shift in video consumption as the result of YouTube’s inception, the real transformation in online viewing began with the increase in social networks’ active users. Twitter gained traction in the spring of 2007, and Facebook became open to the public shortly before this. These new spaces for sharing, consuming and interacting with video content provided YouTube with the ability to reach viewers far beyond the group of unique visitors to the site. Currently, 100 million people take some sort of social action on YouTube each week, whether that be liking, sharing or commenting, not to mention how often someone may send a link to a friend going, “You have to see this!”
Recently, Nielsen reported than online video viewership has increased more than 26 percent over the past three years. This was reported with additional important data points revealing that the time spent viewing video in this same time period has increased twofold.