Michelle Clancy ©RapidTVNews | 28-07-2011

More online Americans are using video‐sharing sites--a trend that shows no sign of abating. As of May 2011, a full 71% of online adults reported watching videos on a video‐sharing site such as YouTube or Vimeo, according to the Pew Research Center.

YouTube accounts for a vast majority of the user-generated video universe. YouTube viewership has grown from 8 million views a day by the end of 2005, to over 3 billion views a day in 2011, according to the company’s data. The company receives over 200 million views a day via mobile connections.

Higher use of video‐sharing sites in general coincides with the explosion of content on YouTube, including videos produced by amateurs. The latest statistics from YouTube are that 48 hours of content are uploaded every minute to the site and the range of contributions is "striking," according to Pew. YouTube lists 28 different categories for channels of video that are contributed and dozens of subcategories ranging from automobiles and gaming, to activism and politics.

The growth in use represents a five‐percentage point increase from 2010, when 66% of online adults in the U.S. reported being videosharing site users. And, it's a 38‐point increase from five years ago when Pew's Internet Project took its first reading on use of such sites.

In terms of demographics, rural Internet users are now just as likely as urban and suburban users to have sampled video at video‐sharing sites. Black and Hispanic Internet users have higher rates of videosharing site use than their white counterparts, a consistent finding since 2006. Men and women are equally likely to use video-sharing.

And, parents use video‐sharing sites more than non‐parents--unsurprising given the thirst for uploading videos of children doing cute things. Pew said the discrepancy might also be attributable to the fact that parents with minors at home are younger as a group than the non‐parents cohort, and use of videosharing sites is linked to younger users. Some 81% of parents in the survey reported visiting video‐sharing sites, compared with 61% of the nonparents.

Mobile use is on the rise, too, driven by smartphone penetration: Some 34% of the cell phone owners in the country have shot video with their phone; 26% have watched video on their phone; and 22% have posted videos or photos online.