Nielsen: Facebook Now the No. 3 Video Site

Looks like the sleeping online video giant that is Facebook may finally have awoken. According to Nielsen’s latest VideoCensus numbers, Facebook jumped to No. 3 behind established video powerhouses YouTube (s GOOG) and Hulu in terms of total streams. That’s up from No. 10 just last month. Facebook generated more than 217 million streams in October to more than 31.5 million unique viewers, up from 110 million streams to 23 million viewers in September.

Top 10 Online Web Brands Ranked by Total Streams
Video Brand Total Streams (000) Unique Viewers (000)
YouTube 6,632,964 105,923
Hulu 632,662 13,472
Facebook 217,765 31,594
MSN/WindowsLive/Bing 183,556 17,301
Yahoo! 173,482 24,265
Fox Interactive Media 160,698 13,142
ABC Television 136,348 5,642
Turner Sports and Entertainment Digital Network 119,850 5,741
ESPN Digital Network 109,799 8,625
CBS Entertainment Network 103,741 6,973

Source: Nielsen VideoCensus
Note: Includes progressive downloads and excludes video advertising

Facebook actually had more than double the number of unique viewers than Hulu had for October, though this isn’t too shocking given the nature of short, personal video sharing that goes on on Facebook versus the longer-form viewing that happens on Hulu. But the social network’s ascendancy should have the Hulu folks on alert. Facebook already got the early premiere of the NBC (and Hulu owner) show Community earlier this year, and Zuckerberg and Co. could flex their newfound video muscles to snatch even more premium content from the Hulu-gurus.

Overall, the number of total U.S. video watchers dipped slightly to 138.6 million unique viewers from 139.3 million in Sept., but the number of total streams was up to 11.2 billion in Oct. vs. 11.02 billion in Sept. The number of streams per person was up to 81 in Oct. vs. 79.1 in Sept., and the time spent per viewer was up to 212.5 minutes vs. 195.2 in Sept.

Online Video Viewing Overall Usage
Unique Viewers (000) 138,623
Total Streams (000) 11,226,935
Streams per Viewer 81.0
Time per Viewer (min) 212.5

Source: Nielsen VideoCensus
Note: Includes progressive downloads and excludes video advertising