YouTube has overtaken Myspace and risen to the top of the community website league, according to new research.

The study, compiled by internet analysts Alexa and covered in The Guardian, shows that the video-sharing portal has taken a 3.9% share of global internet visits a day, compared with 3.35% for News Corp’s social networking site.

YouTube’s reach has increased by 155% in the past three months, while MySpace’s rose by just 9% in the same period.

Although last month, measurement firm Hitwise said MySpace had overtaken the likes of Yahoo and Google to become the most visited site in the US, YouTube is thought to have a wider international reach.

“YouTube has a far more universal appeal, being pure entertainment with a global appeal,” said Dan Calladine, the research director at digital agency network Isobar.

“MySpace’s levels have been moving within the same range since April, but YouTube seems to be climbing more steeply than ever.”

YouTube’s success has seen a price tag placed on it of as much as US$1 billion, far more than Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp paid for MySpace. Rumours are also circulating of a possible IPO, though we feel that lingering concerns over copyright could scupper a public listing.

YouTube is currently being sued over copyright violations by Robert Tur, the cameraman who captured the beating of Reginald Denny during 1992’s LA riots.

Despite all this, some YouTube watchers think Murdoch is among likely bidders for the company – a move which would allow Myspace to add a video dimension to its site.