YouTube tops one billion monthly user mark

It's proving a pretty momentous day in the world of social media, with Twitter's seventh birthday coinciding with news that YouTube has surpassed the one billion monthly unique user mark.

The Google-owned video sharing site announced the milestone on its blog, citing the development of its mobile platform as a key reason behind its ongoing growth.

To put the achievement into perspective, YouTube pointed out that PSY and Madonna would have to play Madison Square Garden in front of a packed house more than 200,000 times to reach a comparable audience.

"What does a billion people tuning into YouTube look like? Nearly one out of every two people on the Internet visits YouTube. Our monthly viewership is the equivalent of roughly ten Super Bowl audiences. If YouTube were a country, we'd be the third largest in the world after China and India," the company added.

The announcement means that YouTube is hot on the heels of Facebook, which passed the one billion monthly user mark in October 2012 and is the world's largest social network.

Launched in 2005 by three former PayPal employees, YouTube proved an immediate hit with web users and was snapped up by Google for $1.76 billion (£1.16bn) in 2006.

The popularity of the website provides Google with a lucrative advertising stream to complement its search operations, and YouTube was also keen to draw attention to its commercial successes.

"Advertisers have taken notice: all of the Ad Age Top 100 brands are now running campaigns on YouTube," the firm posited.