MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - Internet search leader Google Inc. is making it easier to post and share online videos on its site, hoping to widen the appeal of a service that so far has been eclipsed by upstart YouTube.com.
Until the system was changed late Tuesday, uploading a video to Google's site required a special piece of software to be installed on a computer. The Mountain View-based company has retooled its service so that step is no longer required.
Google also is shortening the wait for uploaded videos to appear on its site.
Users occasionally have had to wait as long as 24 hours for a video to show up on the service, said Peter Chane, a product manager for Google Video. Videos should now be available to share shortly after they are transmitted to Google, Chane said.
As online video becomes more popular, Google is trying to gain ground on much smaller company in San Mateo, Calif-based YouTube.
Since its debut a year ago, the video-sharing site has blossomed into a cultural phenomenon. YouTube says viewers watch more than 40 million videos daily on its site.
Google doesn't disclose how many videos are watched on its site.
In April, YouTube attracted 12.5 million unique U.S. visitors, surpassing all other video services, according to Nielsen/NetRatings Inc. Google is ranked fourth in the video category with 7.3 million visitors, trailing Microsoft Corp.'s MSN and News Corp.'s MySpace.com besides YouTube.