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TED Talks hit 1 billion views milestone

TED's plan to spread ideas around the world seems to be working. The nonprofit organisation has announced that its cumulative talk views have surpassed the one billion mark.

Known for its "Ideas Worth Spreading" mantra, TED has produced more than 1,400 free online videos, each focused on a single idea, explored in 18 minutes or less. Topics range from body language to ocean life, and global challenges to distant galaxies.

People watch TED Talks more than 1.5 million times every day, according to the organisation, which calculated that to about 17 new viewings every second. To keep up with such demand, TED has expanded its global community, now including more than 8,000 volunteer translators who make talks available in more than 90 languages.

"The fact that TED Talks have been shared so extensively shows us that people are eager to learn and be inspired," curator Chris Anderson said in a statement.

Talks are distributed by media partners like iTunes, NPR, Netflix, and The Huffington Post.

"The spread of these talks across languages and borders suggests that intellectual curiosity is demonstrably alive and well," Anderson said. "Maybe the Internet isn't dumbing us down after all."

To celebrate the nonprofit's milestone, members of the TED community, including Bill Gates and Bono, have pulled together their favourite TED Talks into what the organisation is calling "TopTED" playlists. The 20 guest-curated lists will be released over the course of this week, as part of a larger Playlists feature on, which groups talks based on a theme or individual.

In cooperation with TED, Mashable and Apple are sharing those playlists, so, to find out which talks amazed Ben Affleck and Reggie Watts, visit Mashable's list of superstars, or check out iTunes's limited-edition downloadable podcasts, which will be rolling out this week.

Keep up with the playlist rollout and share your own favorite TED Talks by using the Twitter hashtag #TopTED.