On 14th February 2020, it marked the 15th anniversary of Youtube which was activated by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim in 2005 while they were working for Paypal. Later, in 2006, Google acquired Youtube. Since then, Youtube has been growing in terms of the user base and the platform’s growth has been substantial. Today, 96% of the internet population consumes 5 billion videos on Youtube every day.
Let us look back at the occurences throughout these years and how Youtube has come all way long.
The Building Blocks
In 2005, the domain name ‘www.youtube.com’ was activated on 14 February at 9:13 PM. The viewer’s journey on Youtube began on 23rd April, 2005 when the first Youtube video was uploaded. It would now take you 60,000 years of non stop watching to compelete each and every video on Youtube.
Youtube began as an angel funded enterprise, operating form an office in a garage. It received an initial investment of $ 3.5 million from Sequoia Capital. Following an investment of additional $8 million from Sequoia and Artis Capital Management.
Initially, it competed with services like Veoh, Vimeo and Viddler. Several features like video embedding, easily uploading and a decision to serve all videos in Flash enabled Youtbe to stand out among its competitors.
By the summer of 2006, Youtube was the fastest growing site on the web with 65,000 new videos. It was the fifth most popular website, averaging nearly 20 milllion visitors per month.
There have been different contextual instances trailing to te reason for Youtube’s existence. According to a popular story making buzz around the media, the idea for creating Youtube struck Hurley and Chen after they faced difficulty in sharing videos from Chen’s dinner party.
Karim suggested that the idea for Youtube was inspired from Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfuntion in the 2004 Super Bowl event and the Tsunami in Indian Ocean in 2004. Karim was unable to find online videos for both incidents and hence, though of creating Youtube- a resource pool for videos.
Other stories suggest that Chen and Hurley initially though of Youtube as a video version of an online dating service.
Before Youtube, the non existence of a platform for videos was an issue.
Google In The Picture
In 2006, Google bought Youtube for $1.65 billion. At that time, when Google acquired Youtube, analysts and competitors argued that they had overpaid the amount. Today, Youtube buy is considered to be one of the best consumer tech acquisitions ever.
In the times of a desperate need for a video hub in 2005, Google tried creating one with Google Videos. It operated with certain filters and rules unline Youtube which focused only on putting any video out there.
Youtube’s stats have contributed big time to Google’s high stocks. More than 1 bilion hours of video are watched daily by two billion plus users.
Youtube is now also a greatly considered option for career choices among millenlias who aspire to work as content creators and youtubers.
The Impact Of Youtube
In the 90’s, local public access television was a wide medium for anyone to watch a variety of things. It became a broadcast platform for everyone but had its limitations as it could only reach those with the same cable provider.
Youtube became a revolutionary change. It quicly became a destination on its own and has profoundly changed marketing as it is becoming utmost necessary for brands to establish a Youtube presence and further venture into Youtube marketing.
Youtube has become a pool providing ample opportunities to amateur music reviewers, animators, movie makers, upcoming bloggers and others to put their voices out there and make content that can be seen by a wide range of audience.
There have been severe instances such as the ISIS using Youtube sucessfully to recruit its band of Jihadis.
Looking at the brighter side, Youtue marketing has also helped various charities and pressure groups highlighting African framing projects that need help.
According to The Pew Research Centre, Youtube has become the worldwide platform for viewing news.
The platform has made citizen video journalism a powerful force and 39% of the most watched videos come from the public rather than from news organisations.
Youtube has been significant in creating numerous communities.
The First Video
The first ever video to be uploaded on Youtube was titled “Me at the zoo”, uploaded by the co founder Jawed Karim on April 23, 2005.
It fetures him standing in front of elephants at a zoo. The video is basic at its core with low resolution and has managed to reach the mark of 84 million views. It was later edited with annotations in 2013.
Yakov Lapitsky, the friend who shot Karim’s video, became the first person ever to shoot for Youtube and the first comment on that video read “Interesting”.
Later, K Pop star Psy’s video ‘Gangnam Style’ went viral and became the first video on Youtube to hit a billion views.
Work Well On Youtube
It has now become crucial for brands to establish their presence on social media across all multiple platforms. Utilising video content on Youtube is important and if you put up quality content, there are chances that it could lead to an excellent engagement for your brand.
According to ‘Videocracy’, the book by Kevin Allocca, The Head of culture and trends at Youtube, he mentions the following three commonalities among viral videos on Youtube:
Unexpectedness: It refers to including a unique/surprise element in your video content. With content and information overload, it is necessary to portray something that stands out from the ordinary.
Participation: Entice your viewers and make them feel involved. Your content should be a participatory process wherein the audience feels that their reaction and contribution to the video matters.
Accelerators: It is important to expand your video sharing horizons far and wide. Expand your network by sharing it with other people who are encourgaed to spread it to their subscriber base and so on.
Youtube has come a long way through these 15 years and has become synonyms with ‘video content’ for the users.