We all watch it, some more than TV, but what
is the story of YouTube? How did it come about, and where will it go in the future? I’m
going to answer one of these questions, Let’s begin. The three founders of YouTube are Jawed Karim,
Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, all of which are famously ex-employees of PayPal. The story
goes that Chad and Steve attended a party but found it near impossible to share a video
they saw with other partygoers, and from that need they developed an idea for a video-sharing
website. However, Steve later claimed that this may not be 100% true, it was just a marketing
thing for the media. Either way, at the time there was a huge demand on the internet for
a place to share and watch video clips, so yeah.
The original concept for YouTube shared some elements with ‘Hot or not’ and incorporated
dating via video, which was later dropped in favour of a more open video-hosting platform
idea. The initial website and business was funded with a rather big $3.5 million dollar,
or £2.5-million-pound investment from Sequoia Capital, a company that exclusively finds
and funds emerging companies. The website was activated, logo created and
everything started from the HQ in a flat above a pizza restaurant on Valentine’s Day 2005,
and the day after looked a little something like THIS. You can still look at this version
of YouTube through the WayBack machine linked in the description. Yeah, a lot has changed.
Back in 2005, video sharing sites were the new thing, and YouTube was no exception as
people began to find themselves on the site. The first video was posted on April 23rd,
first comment not long after and soon the expanding team who managed the ever-expanding
YouTube could afford better tech and a better less rat-infested HQ. YouTube was the fastest
growing site on the Web in 2006, and was surely growing into the site we know today. A year
and a bit later in, YouTube had grown exponentially grown to 100 million views a day and 60,000
new videos per day. In November, cue Google, no wait, GOOGLE, there we go.
Google offer $1.6 billion dollars in Google stock for the company, which all gladly accept.
Ever since then, Google has owned and run YouTube, but Chad Hurley from the beginning
stayed on as CEO until late 2010. YouTube was featured in Time Magazine’s
Person of the Year. You see that bar at the bottom? That’s what the YouTube view bar
used to look like. It isn’t even recognisable anymore.
The site continued to grow exponentially over the rest of the decade, with it spawning such
classics as ‘Evolution of Dance’, ‘Sneezing Baby Panda’, ‘Charlie the Unicorn’,
‘Fred (urrghh)’ and a whole bunch of other internet memes that give me extreme nostalgia,
as I joined YouTube around this time. (This account was made in 2010, but technically
it was still 2009 in the US as it was early morning, so whatever).
Around this time, YouTube got the new CEO after Chad left, Salar Kamangar. Also, cue
redesigns, on top of redesigns, on top of redesigns. The rating system, yellow subscribe
button and extreme channel personalisation were all replaced and/or scrapped. [I will
never forget you]. Then came the forced Google+/YouTube integration
that everyone hated and spammed stickmen in the comments because they were mad. That didn’t
do anything, but eventually Google+ was removed from YouTube. Google has come under fire from
users for (quote) ‘ruining’ the site, even though it was Google that owned the site
during the ‘good old days’ and people like that have no idea what they are talking
about, though are correct in that decisions made by Google are quite controversial and
poorly thought out. In this decade, which is 2010 – 2020 for
all time travellers out there, YouTube kept on growing. 3 billion hours of videos were
watched every month in 2012. Also, later on in 2014, YouTube got a third CEO, Susan (vui-chEE-skee).
She was previously an important employee of Google, with her initially getting a job in
the company by renting out her garage to the founders of Google to use as an HQ in 1998.
That’s pretty cool. The advantages of a free online platform for
video media were so big it drew the attention of normal TV companies whose market was being
encroached on, like I mentioned previously. So came the introduction of TV and Films to
YouTube, all available for purchase. Next, and pretty recently in 2014 and 2015
came YouTube Red, which offers a whole bunch of videos, music and streaming ad-free for
a monthly payment of real world money. Hey, someday maybe it can come to the UK, when
I won’t use it. So, here we are today, with YouTube’s new
crazes involving Reaction Videos, Harassment dressed up as pranks, Facebook freebooting
and also a whole bunch of misused copyright strikes.
So, eleven years down the line and everything has changed beyond recognition, and will continue
to change as time goes on. What’s next? No idea.
Until next time, thanks for watching.