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On This Day, 16 Years Ago, YouTube Was Created

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American video-sharing platform, YouTube, was created 16 years ago.

YouTube was created by three former PayPal employees – Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim. The platform was created on the 14th of February, 2005.

YouTube allow users to upload videos, view videos, rate videos with likes and dislikes, share videos, add videos to playlists, report, make comments on videos, and subscribe to channels.

First YouTube logo.

As of February 2017, there were more than 400 hours of content uploaded to YouTube each minute, and one billion hours of content being watched on YouTube every day.

In 2008, YouTube started generating revenue through ads. Based on reported quarterly advertising revenue, YouTube is estimated to have US$15 billion in annual revenues.

According to Alexa, as of October, 2020, YouTube became the second-most popular websites in the world; second only to the popular search engine, and sister company, Google.

On the 23rd of April, 2005, the option to upload videos was integrated to the site.

The first YouTube video, titled “Me at the zoo,” is an 18 second video. It was uploaded on the same day, and it features co-founder, Jawed Karim, at the San Diego Zoo.

The video currently has 152 million views.

First YouTube video.

YouTube co-founders initially planned making the site a dating website, thereby, naming it “Tune In, Hook Up.” However, they had to re-strategize after the idea failed.

The initial idea for the dating platform had a video option, therefore, after the infamous incident at a Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson Halftime show, where Janet Jackson’s breasts was exposed by Justin Timberlake, the three creators realized they could not find any videos of it on the internet.

The three founders, then, noticed that there is no existence of this type of platform. They then made the changes to the dating platform, and turned it into the very first major video sharing platform in the world.

The company started as an angel-funded project, receiving funding of US$3.5 million from Sequoia Capital in 2005, before subsequent funding started coming from other investors.

YouTube was, however, acquired by Google in November 2006 for US$1.65 billion, making it the second largest acquisition by Google.

YouTube now operates as one of Google’s subsidiaries. The acquisition by Google created a multi-billion dollar business out of the humble beginning of YouTube.

The platform has now surpassed most television stations and has disrupted the media markets, bringing success for many YouTubers, and arming the world with a wealth of knowledge.

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When I'm not reading about tech, I'm writing about it, or thinking about the next weird food combinations to try. I do all these with my headphones plugged in, and a sticky note on my computer with the words: "The galaxy needs saving, Star Lord."
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