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By Wilson Rothman
msnbc.com
updated 8/16/2010 6:52:53 PM ET 2010-08-16T22:52:53

Facebook is now the third most popular video source on the Web, after Google and Yahoo. The social network surpassed all other media sites and video services, according to a monthly video study by comScore.

Yahoo, in second place, saw the biggest month-to-month jump, from 44.9 million unique viewers in June to 55.1 million uniques in July, reports comScore. Microsoft sites (including msnbc.com) were up to 45.5 million in July from 38.9 million a month prior. Fox Interactive sites had the most significant drop, falling from 41.5 million to 38.1 million in one month.

What's most surprising about the Facebook stat is that it doesn't include any of the embedded videos that users plant from other video services. If you drop a YouTube video into your Facebook feed, that counts for Google. Only videos updated through Facebook's own video tool are counted by comScore, which means that the amount of video actually being consumed via Facebook is possibly far greater.

Still, while Facebook's momentum is unlikely to slow, it will be difficult to steal the crown from Google. Powered by YouTube, Google not only maintains 144 million unique users, but users logged an average of 282 minutes — or 4.7 hours — during the month. Facebook's average was 18.3 minutes in July. The only other site with triple-digit viewer minutes was 10th-place Hulu, with 158 minutes, on average, in July.

Hulu also leads the way with most video ads viewed, and a huge bump in population reach: In June, Hulu ads reached 7.8 percent of the U.S. population. A month later, it reached 27.9 percent. Perhaps that's why the rumored Hulu initial public stock offering could value the online broadcaster at upwards of $2 billion.

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