One of the things I love about Facebook is how simple it is to view videos on your live feed. For the most part, videos from sites like YouTube, Vimeo, or those uploaded directly to Facebook play right in the feed without ever having to stray away to another destination. It just works.
It makes sense that this ease of viewing could be one of the reasons why time spent viewing video on social networking has increased 98 percent year-over-year, according to a report by Nielsen published on Thursday.
Facebook, in particular is seeing tremendous growth, noted Nielsen. Last month the social networking giant saw 217.8 million total video streams. Year-over-year the increase in time was 1,840 percent, from 34.9 million minutes in October 2008 to 677 million minutes in October 2009 .
MySpace, Stickam and Ning were also included in the report but didn't account for nearly as many streams as Facebook. Coming in at number two, MySpace had 85.2 million streams. Stickam had 26.3 million streams and Ning had 14 million streams last month.
For social networking sites in general, stats like these prove they've evolved from merely being a place to connect with other people, to actually functioning as media portals. Instead of a simple update saying what I did last night, saw Them Crooked Vultures, I can maybe embed a video clip from one of their live shows.
And beyond simple embedding, it's getting a lot easier for users to upload home-made videos directly to their Facebook profiles with all the video-recording-enabled smart phones out on the market. Even Cisco's Flip video camera is soon to see a Wi-Fi version making it even easier to get videos online.