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Aug 01, 2017 at 12:17

An explosion in ways to capture video, but no good way to share it. This was what was going through the minds of the now founders of YouTube, then PayPal employees, Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim. Maybe they predicted the media explosion that would happen with the release of the platform, maybe they didn’t. But what can surely be said is that YouTube has grown into a widespread cultural media phenomenon. With over 46000 years’ worth of annual content as of October 2016, (Source: ExpandedRamblings) YouTube has made its mark on the world as the ‘go-to’ hub for digital video content.

Release (2005)

The domain name, “youtube.com” was activated on February 4, 2005. The video upload options were integrated on 23rd April 2005, with the first ever YouTube video, uploaded by co-founder Jawed Karim, titled “Me at the zoo” was uploaded on the same day.

YouTube, like most technological organisations which would go on to achieve greatness, started from a makeshift garage, with an initial $3.5 million investment followed by an additional $8 million.

Rise to Fame (2006-2007)

YouTube was one of the fastest growing webpages in the summer of 2006, which proved that nothing was hindering its growth towards becoming one of the biggest internet platforms. In 2006, YouTube was purchased by Google, and its content creators cited as ‘People of the Year’ in TIME Magazine.

On 8th October 2006, Google announced that it would purchase YouTube for $1.65 billion in stock. YouTube, however, kept operating independently throughout the deal with its co-founders and 67 employees under Google. The deal of Google acquiring YouTube was completed on 13thNovember, 2006.

Continuing Glory (2007-Present)

YouTube had become a cultural phenomenon worldwide, and a very large one at that. In 2007, it was rumoured that YouTube consumed almost as much bandwidth as the entire Internet.

YouTube Awards (2007)

YouTube also started its own award series, the YouTube Awards, annual awards given out in recognition of the best YouTube videos of the preceding year as voted by the YouTube community.

YouTube also made its mark within the political world, as, in July and November 2007, YouTube partnered with CNN to produce televised presidential debates, in which YouTube was used as a medium to ask questions to the presidential candidates.

YouTube joined hands with TV (2008)

YouTube dived into the TV show field from 2008-2011 partnering with giants like MGM Entertainment to stream accessible online TV shows in order to create competition with sites like Hulu. It also introduced a film rental service for users in the US and Canada in 2010.

In 2009, the domain “youtube-nocookie.com” was introduced for videos coded with US government content.

YouTube and Google+ became buddies (2011)

During November 2011, the Google+ social networking site was integrated directly with YouTube and the Chrome web browser, allowing YouTube videos to be viewed from within the Google+ interface. The rage it induced amongst the YouTube user base is a totally different matter.

YouTube launched over 100 “premium” YouTube channels in during the course of late 2011 and early 2012, reporting a $100 million initiative cost. Those “premium” channels later became 404 ERROR pages.

YouTube relaunched the main design scheme of the YouTube webpage to match with that of the mobile and tablet apps.

“Gangnam Style” became the first YouTube video to surpass one billion views.


Neelabh Keshav Sinha