2 Billion Videos – and counting! YouTube Celebrates 5 Years Online

Officially created in February 2005, YouTube celebrates the 5-year-anniversary of its May 2005 public launch this week by announcing it just hit the 2 billion viewers mark PER DAY.That’s a LOT of video, folks, proving that YouTube IS the big kid on the block.
YouTube was created by three guys working at PayPal – Steve Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim, who came up with the idea of a quick easy way of getting videos online to share with family and friends. They registered the domain name YouTube.com on Valentine’s day in 2005 then began working on fleshing out the site for the public.
The first ever video on YouTube was an experimental 19-second video called “Me at the Zoo” of Karim, which was uploaded April 23, 2005.

YouTube wasn’t alone in the video sharing market even back then; it shared equal time with Vimeo, Viddler, Veoh among others. What set it apart was its ease of use and availability to the masses.
After their initial first experiments, the creators realized YouTube needed more than just video posting, so worked at getting social networking built. When they released the public beta launch in May. 2005, YouTube was attracting an average of 30-thousand views per day.
By November 2005,with an average of 20-thousand registered users, showing more than 2-million videos per day, they were able to stop using personal credit cards to finance their baby and received 3.5 million dollars from Sequoia Capital for funding.
After months of tweaks to the beta site, YouTube’s official debut was December 15, 2005. Amazingly, within just a few weeks, in January 2006, YouTube reached the 25-million views per day mark and nearly a year later, in October 2006, co-founders Chen and Hurley announced they sold YouTube to Google for 1.6 billion, which was the biggest purchase Google ever made at the time.

The well-know much-watched “Evolution of Dance”, was uploaded April 6, 2006 and created the viral video craze which was the most watched video of all time until just recently.

That same year, TIME magazine listed “You”, as in “you the masses” for its traditional person of the year award, acknowledging that the online video revolution was in full force.
YouTube did more than just make it easy for people to put short clips of mundane moments in their lives online for the world to watch, YouTube helped mold history and bring a voice to those who had none. From shut-ins to the oppressed, YouTube videos showed people discussing the emotional, physical and financial pain of dying from cancer; YouTube exposed the world to videos of protests and attacks in Iran at a time the mainstream media wasn’t allowed access; YouTube viewers shared collaborative efforts of people worldwide spreading words of peace and hugs, and sharing international musical creation.

More than 13-million viewers shared the adorable video of a baby dancing to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies (put a Ring on It)” video, along with dozens of copies and thousands of other videos of some of the cutest babies dancing to mainstream pop music along with silly puppies and cute kittens. “Nora the Piano Playing Cat” has had more than 17-million views, and now has her own CD as a result.

The word YouTube has become so ubiquitous, that it has gone from being a noun to a verb and manufacturers of video production equipment from camcorders to editing software make a big point of advertising “Easy Upload to YouTube” as their number one selling point.
In the music world, YouTube has become the launch point for many aspiring musicians unable to get some attention from recording companies, and has brought life to old mixes. It has helped launch serious video producers trying to get notice who can’t find support from the mainstream media.
According to the YouTube site, today “About 24 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube each minute, equaling about 150,000 full length movies over the course of a week.”
YouTube airs sporting events to people in countries unable to see the games in their own TV channels, and YouTube has plans to show full length movies and TV shows. Happy Birthday, YouTube, we’re interested is seeing what the next 5 years will bring.

C-Net: http://news.cnet.com/At-YouTube,-adolescence-begins-at-5/2100-1030_3-6250605.html?tag=newsEditorsPicksArea.0
YouTube Blog: http://youtube-global.blogspot.com/
PC World: http://www.pcworld.com/article/196447/five_years_of_youtube_the_ups_the_downs.html
Wired: http://www.wired.com/epicenter/2010/05/five-year-old-youtube-tops-networks-primetime-with-2-billion-views/

Jennifer O'Rourke
Jennifer O'Rourke
Jennifer O’Rourke is an Emmy award-winning videographer & editor.

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