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Summary:

It may seem like everyone you know is on Facebook – but by 2017, online video services are actually going to be more popular than social networking.

TV everywhere
photo: Shutterstock / Angela Waye

Online video isn’t just growing fast, it’s growing faster than any other type of consumer service offering – and soon it’s going to be even more popular than Facebook, Twitter and Co, according to Cisco’s new Visual Networking Index forecast.

The newest edition of Cisco’s data-heavy report on how we all spend our time and bandwidth points to social networking as the world’s most popular type of consumer service, with 1.2 billion users worldwide tweeting, Facebooking and more around the world in 2012. That’s 66 percent of residential internet users, if you need to know. Cisco estimates that this number will grow to 1.73 billion users by 2017, which will then represent around 70 percent of the also-growing internet population.

Online video services on the other hand had just around 1 billion users worldwide in 2012, according to Cisco. The company estimates that this number will almost double by 2017, reaching close to 2 billion users worldwide. That means that in four years, 81 percent of the world’s internet users will also use online video services. In 2012, that number was still at around 58 percent.

cisco service adoption forecast

Source: Cisco.

All of those video streams will also have a major impact on bandwidth consumption: Cisco estimates that we are going to see 1.4 zettabytes of global end-user IP traffic in 2017. And here’s the kicker: That’s more IP traffic than the internet has seen in the last 18 years together. Here are a few more of Cisco’s observations and estimates with regards to online video:

  • Online video will account for 69 percent of consumer internet traffic by 2017 (up from 57 percent in 2012).
  • Mobile video will grow 16-fold from 2012 to 2017, and account for 66 percent of all mobile data traffic during that year.
  • Internet-to-TV streaming will grow from 1.3 exabytes per month in 2012 to 6.5 exabytes per month in 2017.
  • The number of web-enabled TVs in consumer’s homes will grow from close to 180 million in 2012 to 827 million in 2017.
  • Game consoles will become slightly less important as a way to bring internet video to the TV screen, while dedicated streaming boxes will see the biggest growth:

cisco tv streaming devices forecast

Image courtesy of Shutterstock / Angela Waye.

  1. You realise that Facebook and Twitter are integrated with “online video services” — right? Facebook and Twitter are both part of online video. If you’re a Facebook or Twitter user, chances are you’re also an online video user at the same time even if you don’t use separate online video services.

    A significant proportion of the online video bytes passing through Cisco systems and available for their reports will actually be from videos embedded on Facebook and Twitter as well as links followed from those services.

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  2. Tim, you are exactly right. That is the first thing I thought of when I saw this article. Online Video is directly related to social media channels like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook, without them Online Video would not be a successful medium.

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    1. I use tons of online video but am not on facebook and seldom use twitter. I use google+ but typically to share links from reading.

      While people using video via twitter and facebook, they probably are not going the other way that much … and this is what that article is about.

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  3. socmediaqueen Wednesday, May 29, 2013

    The Vine app is already swallowing FB and twitter.

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    1. sinobhikumar kumar Thursday, May 30, 2013

      Yeah even i agree with tat statement..Vine app rocks

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  4. Facebook and Twitter are integrated with ‘Short Form’ online video, but aside from being informed by Facebook what your friends are watching on Netflix, there’s not a huge amount of integration with ‘Long Form’ series or movies.

    I’d be interested to know whether these stats are in relation to Short Form, or Long Form, or both?

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  5. Karen Schmidt Thursday, May 30, 2013

    I want to develope a real P2P market in Video with Social nobody has done it right thus far. Incorporate dating business tech and health channels and stream live via smart Tv and other Smart devices.

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    1. Maria Green Monday, June 3, 2013

      Well you must check out Stevie.com , it can totally bring you what you wish for! Here’s their Twitter: http://twitter.com/MyStevieTV

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  6. While we focus on the “clouds,” there are millions still on earth who are not accounted for . . . how will those markets be reached – and enriched?

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  7. I would agree with the connection between the ability to embed video content on many of the most popular social media sites and the increase of consumers viewing online video. I think these two are connected and growing together, rather than competing.

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  8. Revolution Video Friday, May 31, 2013

    Now that the statistics are overwhelmingly leaning towards the significance of online video, people need to know that this doesn’t just mean to throw videos on the Internet, but they need to figure out how to properly engage users…with video. I am referencing to timing, style, and even the storyline. More video is only so important, but how to make your video a piece of the action is the real game-changer.

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  9. Good to see some interesting stats (bandwidth related) published other than the general numbers of people streaming online videos.

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