If there was any question about the significance of the iPhone 3GS’s impressive video functionality, here’s your answer: YouTube reports that in the six days since the iPhone 3GS was released last week, the number of mobile uploads has increased by a whopping 400%. For a single phone model to have such a major impact on the site is simply phenomenal.
Even without the iPhone, YouTube is seeing major growth across the entire mobile space — the site has seen uploads go up 1700% over the last six months. It’s not hard to guess why. Video-enabled smartphones are becoming increasingly popular, as are high speed data connections. YouTube also attributes part of the growth to a streamlined upload flow (note how easy it is to upload a video from your iPhone to the site), as well as its improved sharing capabilities (you can now syndicate your videos to services like Facebook and Twitter).
As the still-nascent iPhone 3GS continues to take off and more people figure out how to use the video sharing functionality, these figures are going to skyrocket. Other phones are increasingly getting in on the action too, like Android phones, which introduce direct-to-YouTube uploads with the 1.5 Cupcake update.
The implications for this are huge. Lowering the barrier to uploading a video will probably result in an increase in the silly user-generated content that litters YouTube, but it will also streamline the uploading of more significant videos. As our commenters point out, an increase in mobile uploads could very well spur the ‘iReporter’ movement, as citizens upload video taken at the scene of a newsworthy event as soon as it happens (we need look no further than the protesting and tragedies in Iran for examples).