A Brief History of YouTube

The world has entered the Digital Age. There are millions of websites out there, built for a range of different purposes. Of these, the site that we all know and love when it comes to the sharing of videos is YouTube. This is by far the most popular video streaming site in the world. Every month, 4 billion hours’ worth of videos are watched. Every minute, 3 days of video is uploaded to the site. Started in the year 2005, the site began as a video sharing website for amateurs with home videos. Today, it is used by professionals, experts and a ton of creators who upload original content on a nearly daily basis. It has helped a lot of people who were nothing but shadows in the past become some of the most famous in the world right now.

The First Inklings of an Idea

The name YouTube was first coined on Valentine’s Day, in the year 2005. Before this, only a handful of people working on it knew the name. The founding fathers of this, one of the most innovative ventures in the digital world, were three men who had previously been employed at the online money management giant, PayPal. Their names were Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim. They were talking about random things at a dinner party in San Francisco in 2004 when the idea first came up. Thought up by Karim, the idea was influenced by two of the biggest events in 2004 – the Janet Jackson Fashion Suicide of 2004 and the tsunami that wiped out parts of India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia in the same year.

Taking a Trip to the Zoo

In 2005, the first home page for the new site was launched and the company was officially started. The first video, which was 19 seconds long, was posted by Karim, and was called “Me at the Zoo”. It was a very basic video of Karim at the zoo, talking about elephants. Less than a year after the first launch, a video would hit one million hits. It was an ad from Nike which showed Ronaldhino, the football legend, receiving a pair of Golden Boots from the company. This video was also one of the first to go viral and get that many hits in a short time. After a partnership with the TV channel NBC, a video that was posted on YouTube from SNL was requested to be pulled off the site. Soon after this, YouTube launched its Content Verification Terms, and the rest is history.

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