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) - YouTube has changed the way the world watches videos leading


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to announce that the website is attracting more than one billion unique users each month. That's quite a milestone.

YouTube's one billion monthly unique users translates into nearly half of all people that use the Internet each month visiting Google's video portal. Looking at this another way, YouTube's monthly viewership is equal to ten Super Bowl audiences.

My favorite statistic from today's

blog posting

is that if YouTube were a country it would actually be the third largest by population after China and India.

YouTube, now eight years old (it began life on Valentine's Day, 2005), was originally an invention of three former PayPal employees. These days PayPal is owned by


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. YouTube site uses HTML5 and


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Flash technologies to stream thousands of videos every day. Content now ranges from movie clips and music videos to homemade rants, raves and personal videos created and uploaded by users.

To appreciate TouTube's reach, Google boasts that every company listed in Ad Age Magazine's Top 100 brands now run advertising campaigns on the video website.

YouTube was purchased by Google in 2006 for $1.65 billion and is currently available on multiple computing and mobile platforms (including set-top TV boxes) in 54 languages. Google was slipping 0.3 percent to $812.50 by mid-afternoon. Shares have gained 27% in the past 12 months.

--Written by Gary Krakow in New York.

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Gary Krakow is TheStreet's senior technology correspondent.