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Social Hour: A YouTube milestone, digital news and the grumpiest cat on the Internet

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Welcome back to Social Hour. Here’s a look at stories that were trending on social media last week about digital platforms, startups and mainstream media.

On Wednesday, YouTube announced that it had reached one billion monthly unique users. Wow. Clearly, world domination is next on the list for the video-viewing service.

To compare the milestone, Facebook reportedly hit that mark in October 2012 after launching in 2004, according to Mashable.

YouTube was launched a year later in February 2005 and has reached the same amount of users in almost the exact amount of time.

So what does a billion people tuning into YouTube look like? I’m glad you asked.

From the company’s blog:

-          Nearly one out of every two people on the Internet visits YouTube.

-          Our monthly viewership is the equivalent of roughly ten Super Bowl audiences.

-          If YouTube were a country, we’d be the third largest in the world after China and India.

-          PSY and Madonna would have to repeat their MadisonSquareGarden performance in front of a packed house 200,000 more times. That’s a lot of Gangnam Style!

Yes, it is. Thanks again, YouTube, for the viral dance videos, Bieber Fever and kitten cuteness. We couldn’t put off work and chores without you.

In other news, the famous cranky feline that made an appearance at South by Southwest this year also stopped by HuffPost Live last week.

That’s right. I’m talking about Grumpy Cat, and she was grumpier than ever.

If you don’t know much about Grumpy, her name is actually Tardar Sauce, and she’s a really sweet cat. It’s just unfortunate that her face always looks like she’s mad at the world.

Sadly, the Washington Examiner announced last week that it will lay off employees and change its business model.

According to a news release, the Examiner will become a “digital platform and weekly print magazine focused on political thought leadership.”

The new publication is expected to launch on June 17.

According to the release, 20 positions will be created for the new digital platform.

A day before the Examiner announced its new model, The Washington Post also made a major announcement — it will implement a paywall and start charging frequent users of its website.

The paywall will allow readers to view 20 free articles or multimedia features a month. According to the Post, the home page, section front pages and classified ads will not be limited.

The announcement doesn’t come as a shock for those in the industry. In 2012, the paper reported that “it will probably start charging online readers for access to newspaper articles in the middle of next year.”

With both Washington, D.C. papers changing their business models, I have to wonder how this will affect local readers and news coverage. Any thoughts on this? Share in the comments below.

To round out this week’s column, I’d like to mention a startup by a 17-year-old that was recently acquired by Yahoo.

Mashable reports that Summly, an iPhone app news aggregator, is the latest in a string of acquisitions for mobile product talent.

The app allows users to quickly find news they’re interested in. It aggregates and displays snapshots of articles from a variety of new sources, according to Mashable.

The site reports that the Summly employees will be joining Yahoo in the coming weeks, and the app will soon cease operation. Sorry users.

But cheer up. The technology powering the app is said to “come to life” through Yahoo’s mobile products soon.

OK, folks. That’s all for this week’s column. I’ll see you all again next week.

— Tiffany

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Tiffany Gibson

Tiffany Gibson has worked for The Oklahoman since August 2011 and is a member of the enterprise team and digital desk. In addition to writing and web editing, she creates interactive features for and assists with data visualization and... Read more ›