Published: 08.11 Europe/London, May 30, 2011

YouTube now has 3 billion views a day, , a 50% increase over last year, the company said at its offcial blog. Also, more than 48 hours (two days worth) of video are uploaded to the site every minute, a 37% increase over the last six months and 100% over last year.

YouTube is now celebrating its sixth (!) anniversary and the numbers continue to climb. The 3 billion views mark wasx reached on May 21, 2011. As the blog notes, the daily viewing figures are the equivalent of nearly half the world’s population watching a YouTube video each day, or every US resident watching at least nine videos a day.

YouTube attributed some of its rapid growth to the explosion of videos posted to the site from popular uprisings in Syria, Egypt, and Libya, as well as protests in Wisconsin earlier this year, and footage from the earthquake in Japan. All of these events resulted in huge video uploads from mobile devices and people who wanted to share their experiences with the world.

In a way, YouTube is now also becoming a competitor to traditional news channels. People are uploading their own footage to the site and attract viewers from all, over the world. Mobile phones equipped with cameras are omnipresent and hardly anything can happen without someone recoding the event.

“We’re continually impressed and inspired by the quality and breadth (in addition to quantity) of videos that you upload to the site every day,” the blog notes, “On our end, we’re constantly evolving to provide the best video sharing and viewing experience for you from faster processing of uploads to longer video lengths to the launch of self-service live stream capabilities to partners.”