Fascinating Facts About YouTube


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The Beginning 

photo credit: Nows.com.au

photo credit: Nows.com.au

YouTube was created by Steve Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim who all knew each other from working at PayPal. Jawed Karim said the idea for a video sharing website came after the 2004 Super Bowl when Janet Jackson had her infamous wardrobe malfunction. If you’re too young to remember this this, basically Justin Timberlake, who was performing with her, ripped off her shirt and exposed her boobie. He didn’t just rip her shirt for no reason, he was suppose to rip her shirt at the very last line of the song and something like a flower petal or something was suppose to be covering her nipple but that got ripped off too. It was a big deal. Accidental nudity is not taken lightly on public television and the NFL got fined tons of money. It pretty much tanked Janet Jackson’s career (even though it wasn’t her fault). 

Anyways back to YouTube. So, Jawed Karim couldn’t find this boobie video online or videos of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami so the idea of a website only dedicated to sharing videos sprouted. The other story Chad Hurley and Steve Chen told was they wanted to make an online video-based dating service kind of like Mark Zuckerburg’s very popular Hot or Not website before he dropped Facebook. But they couldn’t find enough dating videos so they’d decided any video could be uploaded. So, when eBay bought PayPal the three employees used the money they got to start making YouTube. They purchased the YouTube.com domain name on Valentines Day, 2005 and a few months after that Jawed Karim posted the very first video of him at the zoo. 


Google Gets Involved


Google purchased YouTube for $1.65 buh-buh-billion in October 2006. That was an insane amount of money at the time for buying a website. A lot of people thought it was a bad deal but Google had some new plans for YouTube. Google is the largest ad company in the world so naturally they stuck ads on YouTube. The first ad went on in August 2007, nine months after Google acquired YouTube. Today, YouTube’s annual revenue is around 15 billion. Wall Street analysts have given the company around a 100 billion dollar value. Not bad investment for Google, huh?  


YouTube is bigger than TV

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Not only has YouTube made a ton of money, it has had a huge cultural impact on the Entertainment business. YouTube reaches more American adults ages 18-49 than any other broadcast or cable TV network. 80 percent of all North American adults watch at least one YouTube video a month. People are switching from traditional forms of media like tv to just watching YouTube. In the past few years the amount of time people spend watching tv has declined double digits, while time spent watching YouTube has increased double digits. YouTube’s popularity made it possible that anyone with a YouTube channel can become a celebrity. Creators like PewDiePie, Jeffree Star and Shane Dawson are more culturally significant than some A-list actors because of their exposure on YouTube. The YouTube search bar is the second largest search engine on the planet. Google is the first. YouTube processes more searches then Yahoo and Bing together. YouTube is also the second most visited website in the world. Again, Google is the first. The rest of the top five are Facebook, Baidu and Wikipedia. 


YouTube’s amount of Footage 


YouTube has 58,000 years of footage on their platform. You might think that’s bs but when 300 hours of video are uploaded a minute it starts to make sense. An average video length is 4 minutes and 20 seconds and there’s around 7 billion videos on YouTube. 5 billion of these videos are watched by people each day. Each month users combined watch 4 billion hours of video, that’s over 450,000 years worth of videos. However, more than 20% of videos watched are turned off within the first 10 seconds. We officially have the attention spans of a goldfish. An average YouTube mobile viewing session is more than 40 minutes. 


YouTube Pioneers

In October 2004, Brazilian forward (soccer) Ronaldinho, produced a trick video with Nike. It was the first YouTube video to hit 1 million views. 

In 2008, pop singer Avril Lavigne released the chart-topping single Girlfriend and it’s music video became the first YouTube video to reach 100 million views. 

In December 2012, (a few days before the world was suppose to end) the South Korean singer PSY released the music video for his song Gangnam Style that broke the internet. It was the first video to reach 1 billion views on YouTube. The success launched PSY into international fame and was a huge milestone for YouTube. 

17 YouTube videos have held the crown for most viewed video on the website since its beginning. Right now it’s Luis Fonsi’s music video for Despacito ft. Daddy Yankee that has been watched around 6.4 billion times. Second place is Ed Sheeran’s Shape of You at 4.37 billion views. Third place is Wiz Khalifa’s See You Again ft. Charlie Puth at 4.22 billion views. 

In 2010, Justin Bieber released the lead single off his debut album’s music video Baby. It helped launch his career but it also received 10 million thumbs down with the first nine months it was uploaded. It remained the most disliked videos until 2018 when YouTube Rewind 2018 got disliked 15 million thumb downs in just one month it was uploaded. 

YouTube Around the World

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All around the world there are localized versions of YouTube. Each version has its own recommendations and features. It started in June 2007 with U.S. being first, then it was the U.K., Brazil, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain. Now, 98 countries have their own Youtube version. The latest came out in January 2019, for Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Bolivia, Panama, Honduras, Guatemala, Uruguay and Nicaragua. When you’re a website that’s used in so many countries around the world you have to play ball. Many countries allow YouTube if they censor content that they don’t want their citizens to see. These countries include China, Pakistan, Germany, The U.K. and France. Some countries straight up banned YouTube from their internet servers, like Iran, Iraq, North Korea and Syria.