- YouTube was founded by Chad Hurley, Steven Chen, and Jawed Karim, former employees of PayPal, an online commerce website. They registered the domain name in February 2005. It was officially launched in December of that year.s
- In October 2006, Google bought YouTube for $1.65 billion in stocks, just18 months after YouTube’s creation. Karim received $66 million in Google stock, Chen received $310 million, and Hurley received $334 million.b
- The first month after its creation, YouTube had 3 million visitors. The number of visitors tripled by the third month (February 2006), and then tripled again by July to 30 million visitors. By the end of the site’s first year, the number of visitors reached over 38 million.n
YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google
- YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google (bigger than Bing, Yahoo!, and Ask combined).n
- YouTube’s viewers are approximately 44% female and 56% male. Most viewers are 12-17 years old.n
- In 2007, it was estimated that YouTube used as much bandwidth as the entire Internet did in 2000.d
- The name “YouTube” and its motto “Broadcast Yourself” reflect the founders' hope that anyone could use the site freely.s
- YouTube has become such a cultural phenomenon that a college course was devoted to it. In 2007, Pitzer College in California offered a course called “Learning from YouTube.” The teacher wanted students to think about YouTube’s place in society.n
- As of April 20, 2008, the YouTube member with the most channel subscribers was Smosh. Smosh is a rock band built around two young sisters from Seattle, Washington, who go only by their first names: Chloe and Ashley.n
- In May 2008, L.A. police arrested Cyrus Yazdini for vandalism. He had published many of his graffiti adventures on YouTube with a rap soundtrack. His YouTube publications helped police find and arrest him.n
- YouTube broadcasts about 1/3 of the U.S.’s multimedia entertainment.n
- The very first video-sharing Website was ShareYourWorld.com, which was started in1997. However, because technology at the time was not good enough for sending and watching videos over the Internet, it soon went out of business.s
- In September 2005, Brazilian soccer star Ronaldinho’s Nike ad “Touch of gold” became the first YouTube video to be viewed 1 million times.n
- As of 2010, it would take 1,700 years to watch every YouTube video.n
- In 2007, British Prime leader Tony Blair became the first world leader with a YouTube channel.n
- While tools such as Audio ID and Video ID (programs that help identify copyrighted material) and agreements with industry giants such as SONY have helped address YouTube’s longstanding issues with copyright infringement, content appropriateness continues to be YouTube’s main criticism.n
- In 2007, YouTube cofounder Hurley told BBC News that one of the aims of YouTube is to entertain, inform, and empower the world through video.n
At the time, YouTube was Google's second largest purchase
- In 2006, when Google bought YouTube, YouTube was losing money at a rate of $500,000 a month despite its immense popularity. Google, however, saw its immense advertising potential.n
- In 2013, You Tube had more than 72 hours of video uploaded per minute—or over a decade of content every day.c
- Over 4 billion hours of video (over 450,000 years’ worth) are viewed each month on YouTube.c
- Every second there are 46,296 YouTube videos being viewed all around the world.c
- Full HD on YouTube was released in November 2009.c
- In October 2009, YouTube reached 1 billion daily video views, or 11,574 video views per second. In May 2010, YouTube exceeded 2 billion video views a day, or 23,148 per second. In 2012, it reached 4 billion daily video views, or 46,296 per second.c
- YouTube has 800 million+ monthly unique visitors, which is more than the entire population of Europe.o
- What makes a video go viral on YouTube is not exactly known. Humor, genuineness of emotion, and the human experience seem most appealing. One researcher notes that “going viral is not a strategy; it’s an outcome.”s
- Steven Shih Chen is one of YouTube’s three founders. Born in Taipei, Taiwan, in 1978, he moved to the U.S. when he was 8 years old. His father owned a successful trading company in Taipei and moved to the U.S. to expand his business.n
- Steven Chen, one of YouTube’s founders, dropped out of college a few months before graduating to work for Confinity, a company in California that started PayPal.n
- YouTube cofounder Chad Meredith Hurley was born in Birdsboro, Pennsylvania, in 1977. His father was a financial consultant and his mother was a teacher.n
- YouTube cofounder Chad Hurley was both an athlete and an artist in high school. At Twin Valley High School in Pennsylvania he won two cross-country state championships, in 1992 and 1994.n
- After high school, YouTube cofounder Chad Hurley enrolled in Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Initially he majored in computer science, but later changed to fine arts, focusing on design and printmaking. During college, Chad ran cross-country and sold kitchen knives door to door.n
- After graduating from college, YouTube cofounder Chad Hurley was hired at Confinity, the company that created PayPal. He designed a PayPal logo as part of his job interview, which became PayPal’s official logo. He was the company’s first designer and its 10th employee. During his early days at Confinity, Chad slept on a friend’s floor.n
- YouTube cofounder Jawed Karim was born in May 1979 in Merseburg, East Germany, and later moved to West Germany. The Karims moved to the U.S. in 1992 to Maplewood, a suburb of St. Paul, MN.n
- Both of YouTube cofounder Jawed Karim’s parents were scientists. His father, Naimul, was a Bangladeshi chemist. Christine, his mother, was a German professor of biochemistry at the University of Minnesota. n
- While at St. Paul Central High School, YouTube cofounder Jawed Karim created an email system for his school.n
- YouTube cofounder Jawed Karim was initially rejected by the computer science program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He wrote a letter back explaining why he would be a good fit for the program. He was then accepted. He later left the program to work at PayPal, a startup company in California. He would eventually finish his bachelor’s degree in 2004.n
- An early version of YouTube was called Tune In Hook Up, which came from the popular site Hot or Not. The YouTube founders later decided that their site did not have to focus on a single type of video such as dating or selling an item but, rather, the site would feature all kinds of videos.n
- Sequoia Capital helped fund YouTube. In addition to helping YouTube, it has also helped PayPal, Apple, LinkedIn, Yahoo!, and Zappos.n
- YouTube was initially started in Chad Hurley’s garage. In 2006, they were able to move to an office space above a pizzeria in nearby San Mateo, CA, where they hired YouTube’s first employees, around 20 people. Hurley was chief executive officer and Chen was made chief technology officer. Karim acted as an advisor. Karim would soon leave for a graduate program in computer science at Stanford University.n
- In June 2007, the BBC reported that “[in] one day, YouTube sends the data equivalent of 75 billion emails.”n
- Several countries have blocked YouTube at some time, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Pakistan, Syria, Tajikistan, and Turkey.o,r
YouTube wanted attractive women to post videos on their site
- In its early attempts to popularize the site, YouTube offered $100 to attractive girls who posted 10 or more videos. The founders didn’t receive a single reply to this offer, which was posted on Craigslist.n
- According to Google, Western democracies have sought to censor political content on YouTube, including government agencies in Canada, Spain, and the United States.m
- Researchers note that the success of YouTube is due to four key features: 1) video recommendations via the “related videos” list, 2) an email link to enable video sharing, 3) comments (and other social networking features), and 4) an embeddable video player.n
- Over 1 billion unique users visit YouTube—each month.o
- Each month, more than 6 billion hours of videos are watched on YouTube. That’s about an hour for each person on Earth.c
- Every minute, more than 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube.c
- Most of YouTube’s traffic—over 70%—comes from outside the U.S.o
- You Tube reaches more adults aged 18-34 than any cable network.c
- People watch 1 billion views a day on YouTube Mobile.c
- According to one account, the idea for YouTube came when YouTube founders Chen and Hurley found it difficult to share pictures of a dinner party with their friends. According to another account, all three men were at a party and talked about how hard it was to find video clips of events such as the 2004 Southeast Asia tsunami and Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction.”n
- In 2013, YouTube was the fourth most visited website on the Web, behind Google, Facebook, and Yahoo!.p
- The first video uploaded to YouTube was called “Me at the Zoo” and shows Jawed Karim, one of its cofounders, talking about the long trunks of elephants. It was uploaded on April 23, 2005, and is just 20 seconds long. It has been viewed 11 million times and has over 80,000 comments.n
- The first words uttered on YouTube were “All right, so here we are in front of the elephants.”g
YouTube has an annual April Fool's prank
- Since April 1, 2008, YouTube has annually featured an April Fool’s prank on its site.n
- The most user-generated YouTube video is “Charlie Bit My Finger,” which was uploaded May 22, 2007. It has over 500 million views.n
- In 2008, YouTube was awarded a Peabody Award. It was recognized for helping promote democracy by acting as a “Speaker’s Corner.”n
- As of 2013, the most viewed video on YouTube is “Gangnam Style,” which was added in 2012. It was the first video to get over 1 billion hits. It overtook the previous record holder, Justin Bieber’s music video “Baby,” on November 24, 2012.e
- The most “liked” video on YouTube is “Gangnam Style,” with over 2.2 million likes. It overtook LMFAO’s “Party Rock Anthem,” which has only 1.5 million likes.j
- If a YouTube user receives three copyright strikes, his or her account is suspended and all videos uploaded to the account are removed. Anyone with a suspended account is not allowed to create new accounts. A copyright strike is when a user downloads copyrighted material without permission.f
- There are three ways to remove a copyright strike and restore an account to good standing: 1) wait six months for the strike to expire (the strike will expire if the user completes the “Copyright School” and doesn’t receive anymore strikes), 2) ask the person who reported the video to retract their complaint of copyright infringement, and 3) submit a counter-notification, which asserts that there was no copyright infringement, such as in a fair use case.f
- Several companies have sued YouTube because they believe YouTube hasn’t done enough to prevent copyright infringement. In 2008, Viacom—which owns MTV, VH1, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon—won a court ruling that required YouTube to hand over 12 terabytes of viewing habits of every user who has watched videos on the site. In 2010, Viacom’s $1 billion lawsuit was rejected under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. While the case was reinstated in 2012, in 2013, YouTube defeated Viacom once again under the “safe harbor” provisions of the DMCA.l
- Time Magazine said that some of the comments on “YouTube make you weep for the future of humanity just for the spelling alone, never mind the obscenity and the naked hatred.”h
- YouTube has become notorious for having some of the most confrontational and ill-formed comment exchanges on the Internet. Even the most inconsequential videos can degenerate into profanity-strewn “slanging matches with a xenophobic undercurrent.”i
- More video content is uploaded to YouTube in 60 days than the three major U.S. television networks created in 60 years.n
- The average YouTube user spends between 15 and 25 minutes on the site per visit.n
- The domain name YouTube.com was registered in 2005. However, a company named Universal Tube & Rollform Equipment in Ohio with a similar domain name (Utube.com) was so overwhelmed with traffic from people trying the spell YouTube, that it sued YouTube for damaging its business. The claims were later dismissed. Utube.com is now UtubeOnline.com.s
- On Facebook, over 150 years’ worth of YouTube videos are watched every day.n
- On average, there are more than 400 tweets per minute contain a YouTube link.n
- The longest video on YouTube is 571 hours, 1 minute, and 41 seconds. The video is a slideshow of Jonathan Harchick's (the video's creator) trip to Chili in 2009.k
- The average YouTube visitor accesses the site 14 times per month..n
- YouTube has signed over 10,000 advertising partners to date, including Turner and Disney. Hundreds of YouTube partners are making six figures a year.n
- There are over 7,000 hours of full-length movies and TV shows on YouTube.n
- In the last year, the number of advertisers using display ads on YouTube increased by 1,000%.n
- The program that detects duplicate content on YouTube to prevent copyright infringement (Automated Content ID) scans over 100 years’ worth of video—each day.n
- In 2006, the U.S. Congress and President launched YouTube channels.s
- A 14-minute trailer for an obscure film mocking a Muslim prophet sparked anti-U.S. protests in Egypt and Libya in Sept 2012. While YouTube did not remove the clip, it blocked access to it in Egypt and Libya. This highlights the difficulties of balancing free speech with legal and ethical concerns in an age when social media can impact world events.t
- In 2013, Google said it would start offering paid subscription content of certain YouTube channels. The subscription-only videos will include up to 50 YouTube channels. Users will pay $1.99 a month to subscribe to certain channels.u
- Rebecca Black’s “Friday” YouTube debut may be the most “disliked” video on YouTube. It received 3.1 million dislikes before the music video was removed. The second most “disliked” video ever is Justin Bieber’s “Baby” with over 2 million dislikes.a
- In 2011, 30% of videos on YouTube made up 99% of views on the site.r
- While Google does not provide detailed figures for YouTube’s revenue, in June 2008, Forbes magazine projected YouTube’s 2008 revenue at $200 million.n
- Some industry experts estimate that YouTube’s running cost, specifically the bandwidth it uses, may be as high as $5-$6 million—a month.n
|Chad Hurley is born in Birdsboro, PA
|Steven Chen is born in Taipei, Taiwan
|Jawed Karim is born in Merseburg, East Germany (present-day Germany)
|The Chen family moves to the United Sates and settles in Illinois
|The Karim family moves to the United States and settles in Minnesota
|Chen leaves college before graduating to begin working for PayPal
|Hurly graduates from college and begins working for PayPal
|Karim leaves college during his junior year to work for PayPal
|In January, Chen, Hurley, and Karim decide to partner to create a video-sharing website
|Chen, Hurley, and Karim register YouTube LLC and YouTube.com on February 15
|A beta version of the site goes online in the spring
|On April 23, YouTube’s first video “Me at the Zoo” is posted on the website
|In June, four new features are added to YouTube that increase its community appeal to users: 1) related videos list, 2) video sharing, 3) comment sections, and 4) embeddable video player
|In November, Sequoia Capital provides $3.3 million in funding for YouTube
|In December, YouTube.com officially launches
|Sequoia Capital provides $8 million in additional YouTube funding in April
|YouTube’s headquarters moves out of Hurley’s garage to office space in San Mateo, CA, and the company hires its first employees
|YouTube has more than 30 million unique visitors in July
|In October, Google buys YouTube for $1.65 billion in stock
|Chen steps down from his position as YouTube’s chief technology officer; Karim launches Youniversity Karim Ventures, a venture fund with the goal of encouraging young entrepreneurs to develop and launch their business ideas
|Chen continues to work on projects for Google
|Hurley steps down as YouTube’s chief executive officer
-- Posted August 28, 2013
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b Austin, Scott. “Finally, Here’s What YouTube’s Investor’s Made in Sale to Google.” The Wall Street Journal. March 18, 2010. Accessed: July 18, 2013.
c Bullas, Jeff. “The Facts and Figures on YouTube in 2013—Infographic.” JeffBulas. 2013. Accessed: July 18, 2013.
d Carter, Lewis. “Web Could Collapse as Video Demand Soars.” The Telegraph. April 7, 2008. Accessed: July 18, 2013.
e Cellan, Rory. “Gangnam Style Hits One Billion Views on YouTube.” BBC. December 21, 2012. Accessed: July 24, 2013.
f “Copyright Strike Basics.” YouTube. July 9, 2013. Accessed: July 18, 2013.
g Geoghegan, Tom. “Twitter, Telegram, and E-mail: Famous First Lines.” BBC. March 21, 2011. Accessed: July 18, 2013.
h Grossman, Lev. “You—Yes, You—Are TIME’s Person of the Year.” Time. December 25, 2006. Accessed: July 18, 2013.
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m Ribeiro, John. “Google: Western Democracies Seek to Censor Political Content.” GoodGearGuide. June 18, 2012. Accessed: July 18, 2013.
n Rowell, Rebecca. 2011. YouTube: The Company and Its Founders (Technology Pioneers). North Mankato, MN: ABDO Publishing.
o “Statistics.” YouTube. Accessed: July 18, 2013.
p “Top 15 Most Popular Websites.” eBiz. July 2013. Accessed: July 18, 2013.
q “Turkey Lifts Two-Year Ban on YouTube.” BBC. October 30, 2010. Accessed: July 18, 2013.
r Whitelaw, Ben. “Almost All YouTube Views Come form Just 30% of Films.” The Telegraph. April 20, 2011. Accessed: July 18, 2013.
s Woog, Adam. 2009. YouTube ( Great Idea). Chicago, IL: Norwood House Press.
t “YouTube Refuses to Remove Anti-Islamic Film Clip.” The Telegraph. September 13, 2012. Accessed: July 18, 2013.
u “YouTube to Charge for Access to Some Videos.” FoxNews. May 6, 2013. Accessed: July 18, 2013.