Happy Birthday, YouTube!

It’s hard to believe that it’s been seven years since the formal launch of YouTube, the popular video-hosting portal that was initially conceived to be a “video version of Hot or Not.”

Founded by former PayPal-ers Chad HurleySteve Chen and Jawed Karim and available in 54 languages, YouTube has truly become a global phenomenon, serving everything from how-to tips to political moments, home videos, comedy, music, and so much more. According to Time Magazine, the platform is to video what Wal-Mart is to shopping: “everything is there, and all you have to do is walk in the door.”

In celebration of their most recent milestone, YouTube shared some rather provocative statistics in, you guessed it, video form: their data shows that an average of 72 hours of video is uploaded to the site every minute. For those same sixty seconds, an approximate 72,000 hours of video is viewed. With numbers that impressive, one has to ask: “what does this mean?”

Well, for one, it means that consumers are uploading almost three times as much video as they were just two years ago. And it’s coming from more places and sources. Mobile, for example, has had a tremendous impact on the platform as have the distribution deals struck with some of Hollywood’s biggest studios. And how about that viewership stat? Is there a television network that even comes close? Not by a long shot!

So, Happy Birthday, YouTube! You’ve shown us just how important video can be to the fine art of storytelling and we – along with your 800 million users worldwide – salute you!