Happy 5th Birthday YouTube!

Back in February 2005 three former Paypal employess, Steve Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim founded the now widely popular website Youtube. The domain name “www.youtube.com” was activated on the 15th of February 2005 (5 years ago today). Over the next few months the website was developed and finally officially launched in November 2005 (after 6 months Beta testing). The first video was uploaded on the website in April 2005.

The site grew rapidly, and in July 2006 Youtube announced that more than 65,000 new videos were being uploaded every day, and that the site was receiving 100 million video views per day. In November 2006 the internet giant Google bought Youtube for $1.65 billion. Since then Youtube has been operated as a subsidiary of Google. In 2007 it was estimated that YouTube consumed as much bandwidth as the entire Internet in 2000. In March 2008 the website’s bandwith costs were estimated at $1 million a day. In early 2009 market research estimated that 20 hours of new videos were being uploaded to Youtube every minute and that around three quarters of the material comes from outside the United States. In October 2009 Chad Hurley announced in a blog post that YouTube was serving “well over a billion views a day” worldwide. Alexa ranks Youtube as the internet’s 4th most visited website behind Google, Yahoo and Facebook. From March 2010 YouTube will stream all 60 cricket matches in the Indian Premier League tournament worldwide for free. This will be the world’s first free online broadcast of a major sporting event in history.

For those of you who don’t know already, YouTube uses Adobe Flash Video technology to display a wide variety of user-generated video content, including movie clips, TV clips, music videos and amateur content such as video blogging and short original videos. Media corporations like CBS, the BBC, UMG and other organizations offer some of their material via YouTube as part of a partnership program with the website.Most of the content on YouTube is uploaded by individuals, although the uploading of videos containing defamation, pornography, copyright violations and material encouraging criminal conduct is not allowed by the website’s terms of service. Unregistered users are permitted to watch the videos on YouTube. Registered users are permitted watch the videos and to upload an unlimited number of videos. Videos which might be considered to contain potentially offensive content are available only to registered users over the age of 18.

Youtube has become such an integral part of the internet since it’s launch in 2005. I can’t imagine an internet without this popular website. The website is definitely one of the internet’s success stories. YouTube will continue to be one of the most visited websites on the internet for years to come. Happy 5th Birthday YouTube!

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Henno Kruger

Digital Marketing Campaign Coordinator at Junk Mail Publishing.

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