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YouTube, the video sharing site owned by Google, has announced it has passed one billion regular users. Announcing the one billion milestone on its blog, the site said a recent growth in smartphones and had helped boost the numbers visiting the site monthly.

With one billion monthly users, it poses a challenge to Facebook as the internet’s largest social network. Facebook reached a billion users in October last year.

“Nearly one out of every two people on the Internet visits YouTube,” the company said in its statement.

It was keen to stress the business potential of such a large audience.

“Tens of thousands of partners have created channels that have found and built businesses for passionate, engaged audiences. Advertisers have taken notice,” it said, saying that the top 100 brands listed by trade magazine Advertising Age were now running campaigns on YouTube.

Given such a trend, it’s worth acknowledging that even some of the media brands in Africa have a presence on this channel and this has greatly contributed to the increasing audience that is always on the lookout for content.

YouTube was launched in 2005 and bought by Google in 2006.It paid $1.76bn (£1.16bn) for the site, which at the time had an estimated 30-40 million users world wide.

The site was launched in California by three former PayPal employees and the first video uploaded was by co-founder Jawed Karim and titled Me at the Zoo.

Credit: BBC