YouTube is hands down one of the most popular places in cyberspace for persons of all ages – men, women, boys and girls alike, and people from all cultures and walks. In fact, since around 2010, YouTube has consistently ranked in the top three most used sites on the Internet — right up there with Facebook and Google (the now parent company of YouTube). In many ways, the user uploaded video sharing site is that perfect hub where personal expression and customized consumption meet.
Thanks to the user shared content, each week, YouTube attracts billions of users who watch their favorite videos as much as they want to, when they want to. This begs the question how did it all get started. If you have ever wondered how YouTube grew to become one of the most dominant sites in cyberspace, then this article is just for you.
How it all started
YouTube’s story began when three of PayPal’s earliest employees (they subsequently left PayPal) — Chad Hurley, Jawed Karim and Steve Chen — joined forces and began building their concept. The trio activated the youtube.com domain on February 14, 2005 and then invited members of the public in May of the same year to give their review of the site. In November 2005, six months after the public review, YouTube was officially launched. Up to the time of its launch, YouTube was headquartered in a makeshift office in a garage.
– YouTube was one of those companies that benefitted from angel investors. To start, Sequoia Capital (a venture capital firm) invested US$3.5 million in November 2005
– Encouraged by the exponential growth that YouTube had experienced in its first few months following the official launch, Sequoia and Artis Capital Management invested an additional US$8 million into the company in April 2006
– YouTube became one of the fastest growing websites on the web by the time July 2006 rolled around with more than 65K new uploads and over 100million views daily
– YouTube joined forces with NBC in June 2006 in the name of marketing and advertising
– Google purchased YouTube at a cost of US$1.65billion in stock on October 9, 2006. The deal was finalized in November 2006
– YouTube, by way of a screenshot, was Time magazine’s ‘Person of the Year’ in 2006
– In 2007, YouTube in collaboration with CNN, was integrated into the presidential debates. The YouTube Awards were also launched the same year
– YouTube received a Peabody Award in 2008
– In November 2001, Google+ became integrated with YouTube and the Google Chrome web browser
– In October 2012, YouTube partnered with ABC News to bring a live stream of the U.S. presidential debate
– On March 21, 2013, YouTube amassed 1 billion unique monthly visitors
– In 2013, both the YouTube Music Awards and YouTube Comedy Week were launched
Although, YouTube has changed hands and management styles over the years, it has continued to remain relevant, and continues to grow and evolve with the ever changing social media landscape. With billions of viewers, YouTube continues to be innovative and enjoy its ranking as one of the top three most visited sites on the Internet, and shows no signs of slowing down.