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Summary:

Facebook has enjoyed tremendous growth in video viewing recently, with more than 2 billion videos viewed per month on the social network. The latest update to its iPhone app will drive more growth by giving users the ability to watch videos directly on the mobile device.

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The newest version of Facebook’s ever-popular iPhone app includes the ability to watch friend videos directly on the mobile device. The addition comes as the social network continues to enjoy tremendous growth in both video uploading and viewing.

Facebook has become a force in online video, ranking among the top five video sites in comScore’s Video Metrix April results. That puts it in line with Vevo and Fox Interactive — and ahead of Hulu. Earlier this month, the social networking site told NewTeeVee that its users upload more than 20 million videos each month, and watch more than 2 billion.

Much of the uploading has come as a result of its users shooting clips with video-ready mobile devices like the iPhone. With the release of its iPhone app last year, Facebook added the ability to upload video directly from the device, which added to the growth of user-generated videos being added to the social networking site. And there’s talk that Facebook uploading could explode even further, as the ability to upload to the social network might become a choice when exporting a video.

In the same way that video uploads were spurred by user adoption of the iPhone app, we can now expect more video to be viewed on the phone. While it ranks highly in terms of the number of users watching video, the average number of videos each of those viewers watch per month on the site is fairly low, at just 5.6, according to comScore. Compare that to YouTube, with 96 videos per viewer/month on average, or Hulu, whose viewers watch an average of 24.7 videos.

In addition to video viewing, version 3.1.3 of the Facebook app includes the ability to upload photos that are 720 pixels wide. Users can also now view and write on their friends’ walls through the app.

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