YouTube history: How the video-sharing website became so popular

History of something now established is really interesting to read about. One of the interesting topics is History of YouTube, a video-sharing website on the internet. There are tons of intriguing data and stats to be learned about YouTube. It has been 15 years since its inception and it is still going viral and is popular.

YouTube was originally founded in 2005 by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim, who were all former employees of Paypal. Hurley studied design at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Chen and Karim together studied computer science at the University of Illinois. It was developed as a platform for anyone to post videos of their choice, option of sharing them was also provided. The primary goal was that users could use the site to upload, share, and view content without restriction.

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Brief History of YouTube

The original concept was to develop a dating website called Tune In, Hook Up, which allowed users to post videos of themselves for others to view and decide whether or not to go on a date with them. However, no one was willing to participate in it and it eventually failed.

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But the idea of uploading a video was up and when the group had discussed about how difficult it was to find a video online of Janet Jackson’s infamous wardrobe malfunction, during the 2004 Superbowl Halftime show, a concept began to form.

Knowing that a video-sharing platform wasn't into picture yet, the team jumped into the market and the name of “Tune In Hook Up” was changed to “YouTube”. An internet phenomenon was born that year.

On April 23rd 2005, the first ever YouTube video was posted. It was an 18 second clip of one of the founder Jawed Karim standing in front of elephants at the zoo, it was entitled as Me at the zoo.

Later, in September 2005, a Nike promo video of Brazilian football star, Ronaldinho showing of his ball juggling skills became the first YouTube video to get around a million views. From that event, YouTube exploded and the finances began rolling in.

Growth in YouTube Revenue
Growth in YouTube Revenue 

Currently, it has over 2 billion monthly users who watch hundreds or thousands of hours of video content in a flow. How did YouTube become such huge independent platform over the passage of time?

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Initially, the site opened on a limited/small scale basis in May 2005, it managed to attract around 30,000 visitors per day. YouTube was officially launched on December 15, 2005 and it was serving more than 2 million video views each day, proving its overall huge growth. By January 2006 that number rose to more than 25 million views. The number of videos at the site crossed around 25 million in March 2006, with more than 20,000 new videos uploaded on a daily basis. In early 2006, YouTube was serving more than 100 million videos per day, and the number of videos being uploaded to the site showed no sign of slowing down.

It has since grown to become one of the most successful video distribution sites in the world. Today, many YouTubers make a decent living by selling ad space before or on videos they create and upload onto the site.

Some unprecedented events took place in the way of its growth. The unforeseen growth in views/visitors at YouTube created its own set of problems. The company started buying more computer equipment and more connections to the Internet. YouTube was forced to allocate more financial resources for potential litigation, as many media companies discovered that some of the videos uploaded on YouTube contained copyrighted issues. With limited success in commercializing its Web site or containing its growing costs, YouTube began looking for a buyer.

Hence, after 18 months, the company was bought by the Internet God itself, Google for $1.65 billion in stock. YouTube went from amateur video sharing application to the powerhouse of the video content, giving birth to the pioneers like The Smosh Brothers and PewDiePie.

Through years of refinement, Google began to embed targeted advertising directly into the video clips that its users watched and also promoting the featured content. This was later replaced by playing paid ads before a video began.

The company has also recently added the two-ads feature, which shows two ads at once to boost up potential revenue from the content. But this is not the only revenue source for the platform. YouTube also pulls in money through its subscriber based model, now called YouTube Premium (previously: YouTube Red), Music Premium service and paid TV service.

This service offers users exclusive benefits, like removing ads, and charges subscribers a regular subscription fee.

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  • Compensation make creators satisfies and increase their loyalty to the platform as it facilitates a healthy amount of competition by providing newer, smaller-scale creators something to strive for
  • YouTube currently offer three awards as a token of Recognition for their creators for reaching certain milestones- a Silver Play Button (1 lakh Subscribers), a Gold Play Button (1 million Subscribers) and a Diamond Play Button (10 million Subscribers).
  • YouTube has wide and content variety on its platform which keeps the viewers by the edge of their seat and explore more.
  • Maintaining close connection with the audience has given a greatest push to viewers to reply on this platform.

History of YouTube

Some interesting facts about YouTube

  • Me at the zoo is still searchable on YouTube, it now has over 30,000,000 views and 450,000 likes.
  • YouTube was founded on Valentine's Day in 2005.
  • The “You” represents that the content is created by user and not generated by the site and “Tube” is an older original term for television.
  • It is now present in more than 75 countries and available in 61 languages, with hundreds of hours of video content uploaded every minute!
  • YouTube has a fun Easter egg that will let you change the color of the progress bar if you type "awesome" on the window, for that the video has to be paused.
  • YouTube had pranked its millions of users every April Fools Day in the past, the first was a video on the site's homepage which was actually a Rickroll.

Considering the YouTube's size, dominance, wide acceptance of content creators and market occupations, it is unlikely to fade away any time soon. It has set a milestone in the digital industry.


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