On Monday, Apple said that it had sold over 1 million iPhone 3GS devices through Sunday, June 21. The iPhone 3GS features the ability to record, edit, and share videos, unlike previous iPhone models.
The iPhone-driven deluge comes amid a 1700% increase in mobile phone video uploads to YouTube over the past six months.
"This growth represents three things coming together: new video-enabled phones on the market, improvements to the upload flow when you post a video to YouTube from your phone, and a new feature on YouTube that allows your videos to be quickly and effortlessly shared through your social networks," said product manager Dwipal Desai and community manager Mia Quagliarello in a blog post.
Mobile phone videos also played a significant role in the recent election protests in Iran.
To encourage the continued contribution of mobile phone videos, YouTube is offering to promote selected mobile videos on its home page. It has asked users to tag videos uploaded from mobile phones with the keyword "mobiletest" and to send a link to the video in a Twitter message, along with the "mobiletest" tag, to the "@youtube" address. The YouTube team will look at these videos in a week and feature the most popular ones in a special "mobile upload" edition of its Spotlight Video showcase.
To upload videos from mobile phones, YouTube provides account holders with a unique e-mail address to which videos can be sent for posting. Users can find their special e-mail address by logging in to their YouTube accounts and visiting http://www.youtube.com/mobile.
For all the popularity of mobile video, it remains something of a luxury. A recent survey by Strategy Analytics suggests that almost half of Americans (48%) would give up their mobile data plan if faced with financial hardship. That's compared to the far smaller number (10%) who say they'd give up their home broadband connection.
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