U.S. Adults Love Video-Sharing Sites, Pew Says

Video-sharing sites may have caught on first with the kiddies, but adults have taken to video services such as YouTube and Vimeo in a big way. More than 70 percent of online adults in the US report watching clips on video-sharing sites, a 5-percent increase from last year, and a sizable 38-percent jump from 5 years ago, according to a new survey by the Pew Internet Project.

Video-sharing sites are particularly popular among parents. More than 80 percent of parents in the survey reported visiting these sites, compared with just over 60 percent of non-parents.

Interestingly, parental use of video sites is up nine points from Pew's May 2010 survey, while non-parental use is down two points. A possible explanation is that parents with children living at home are younger than non-parents, and "use of video-sharing sites is linked to younger users," Pew explains.

The rising popularity of video-sharing sites is being driven in part by the explosion of user-contributed content on YouTube. This trend may encourage site visits by contributors' friends and others who forward links to popular amateur videos.

The latest statistics from YouTube show that users upload 48 hours of content every minute to the site, Pew reports.

The popularity of video-sharing is growing across geographically and racially diverse segments of the US adult population. Rural internet users, for instance, are now just as likely as their urban and suburban counterparts to frequent video sites.

Nearly 80 percent of online non-whites, including African-Americans, Hispanics and other groups, report using video-sharing sites as well--that's 12 percent higher than in April 2009, and 41 percent higher than in 2006, Pew reports.

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