HomeGeneralYouTube: The History and Origins of the Video Sharing Website

YouTube: The History and Origins of the Video Sharing Website

YouTube is a video-sharing website where users can upload, view, and share videos. It was created in February 2005 by three former PayPal employees being Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim. The social media platform allows users to upload, view, rate, share, add to playlists, report, comment on videos, and subscribe to other users. It offers a wide variety of user-generated and corporate media content. Available content includes video clips, TV show clips, music videos, short and documentary films, audio recordings, movie trailers, live streams of events, lectures, speeches, and much more.

History of YouTube

YouTube also offers a wide variety of user-generated and corporate media content. It was founded by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim on February 14th, 2005. All three founders were employees of PayPal at the time. They registered the company’s domain name on Valentine’s Day because they “thought it would be fun.” The first video “Me at the zoo” was uploaded by Karim on April 23rd, 2005. It featured Karim in front of the elephant enclosure at the San Diego Zoo.

YouTube Founders - Chad Hurley - Steve Chen - Jawed Karim
YouTube’s founders; from left to right: Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

In October 2006, Google announced that it would be purchasing YouTube for $US 1.65 million. The deal was finalized in November 2006. Following that it became a subsidiary of Google, Inc., and remained a separate entity. The platform continued to grow in popularity, and in July 2010 surpassed one billion views per day.

In May 2007, YouTube launched its Partner Program, which allows content creators to share in the advertising revenue generated from their videos. They have also been criticized for their copyright policies. In August 2007, YouTube removed a number of videos featuring the popular band The Verve. The band claimed that the platform had removed the videos because they contained unauthorized samples of their music. The videos have been reinstated later.

In October 2008, YouTube announced that it would be removing all material containing copyrighted content from its site. This included television shows, movies, and music videos. In November 2008, the video platform reached an agreement with Warner Bros. to allow the distribution of some copyrighted videos on the site. YouTube also signed agreements with other content providers, including CBS, NBC Universal, and Fox.

In February 2009, The company announced that it would be launching a new version of the site called YouTube XL. The new site was designed for users who wanted to watch videos on their television sets. The service was eventually discontinued.

Reach and impact

As of January 2019, YouTube has over two billion active users. It is the third most visited website in the world, behind Google and Facebook. The service is available in 88 countries and territories. It is the most popular website in India, the United States, and Brazil.

YouTube has been criticized for its copyright policies and for removing videos containing copyrighted content. They have also been criticized for their policies regarding advertising and monetization. In October 2017, YouTube announced that it would be removing the ability to monetize videos if several usage criteria are not met. This caused a number of popular channels to lose their income. This decision was later reversed.

YouTube has also been criticized for its policies regarding content moderation. In December 2017, it announced that it would be hiring more people to help moderate its content. The platform has been accused of censoring conservative content.

This office building at 901 Cherry Avenue in San Bruno, California was home to the headquarters of YouTube at the time this photograph was taken. Photographed by user Coolcaesar on April 2, 2017 in San Bruno, California.
This office building at 901 Cherry Avenue in San Bruno, California was home to the headquarters of YouTube at the time this photograph was taken. Photographed on April 2, 2017, in San Bruno, California. (Image: Coolcaesar / Wikimedia Commons)

In August 2018, YouTube announced that it would be removing videos from right-wing commentator Alex Jones. This caused a number of other right-wing commentators to accuse The platform of censorship. Later some of the videos were reinstated.

In general, however, the platform has been praised for its ability to allow anyone to share their videos with the world. YouTube has also been praised for its wide variety of content. The platform has been credited with helping to launch the careers of several prominent content creators, including PewDiePie and Logan Paul.

YouTube Red

In 2015, YouTube began offering a paid subscription service called YouTube Red. This service allows users to watch videos without ads, save videos for offline playback, and provide access to exclusive content. In November 2017, YouTube announced that it would be discontinuing YouTube Red and replacing it with YouTube Premium. YouTube Premium includes all of the features of YouTube Red, as well as the ability to watch videos offline, download videos for offline playback, and play videos in the background.

YouTube Premium

YouTube Premium is a paid subscription service that includes all of the features of YouTube Red, as well as the ability to watch videos offline, download videos for offline playback, and play videos in the background. As of January 2019, YouTube Premium has over two billion active users. It is the third most visited website in the world, behind Google and Facebook. YouTube Premium is available in 88 countries and territories. It is the most popular website in India, the United States, and Brazil.

YouTube Music

YouTube Music is a paid subscription service offered by YouTube that includes ad-free music streaming, offline playback, and background playback. YouTube Music is available in over 70 countries. In October 2018, the company announced that YouTube Music would be replacing Google Music. The service is available as a standalone app or as part of YouTube Premium.

YouTube TV

YouTube TV is a paid subscription service that includes live TV streaming, cloud DVR, and access to YouTube Originals. YouTube TV is available in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. As of January 2019, YouTube TV has over one million active users.

YouTube Kids

In May 2014, YouTube announced that it would be launching YouTube Kids, a separate app designed for children. YouTube Kids is available in over 30 countries. It includes a parental control panel that allows parents to restrict the content their children can watch.

YouTube Gaming

YouTube Gaming is a channel dedicated to video gaming. It was announced in June 2015 and launched in August of that same year. It included a dedicated app and website. The service extension was designed to make it easier for gamers to find videos of their favorite games. It also includes a live-streaming feature.

Google Gaming
Image: Google

YouTube Gaming is the second most popular gaming website in the world, behind only Twitch, which was acquired by Amazon. In January 2019, they announced that it would be merging YouTube Gaming with the main brand. This would create a single app and website that would include both gaming content and regular content.

Current CEO

Susan Wojcicki CEO
Susan Wojcicki on the left side, taken at TechCrunch Disrupt 2013 in San Francisco, US. (Image: TechCrunch / Flickr)

Susan Wojcicki is the current CEO of YouTube. She was appointed to the position in February 2014. Wojcicki was previously the Senior Vice President of Advertising and Commerce at Google. She has played a key role in the development of several of Google’s most popular products, including Gmail, Google News, and Google AdWords.

Recent developments on YouTube

Recently the company has announced that it will be removing the thumbs-down count from videos. This means that the number of likes and dislikes a video has will no longer be displayed publicly. This change was made in an effort to reduce the amount of negativity on the social network. They believe that this change will make it easier for people to find videos they actually enjoy.

Another feature of the more recent past of YouTube was the introduction of Shorts, which are short clips in vertical video format that are an attempt to clone the success of the TikTok app. This is primarily aimed at mobile users on their smartphones.

The technology used on YouTube

YouTube uses a variety of technologies to function. These include HTML5, JavaScript, and their own video player software. This software is based on their own open-source video player, which was released in 2007. They also use the Google Cast extension to allow users to cast videos to their TVs.

YouTube uses a variety of video codecs to encode its videos. The most commonly used codec is VP9, which they began using in 2014. The platform also uses the H.264 and H.265 codecs.

They currently support a variety of video framerates and resolutions. The most commonly used framerate is 30 frames per second (FPS) at an HD resolution. YouTube also supports a variety of other resolutions, including 2160p (4K), and 4320p (8K), as well as old resolutions like 240p, 360p, and 480p. They also support a variety of audio codecs, including AAC, MPC, Vorbis, and Opus.

Live streaming and the first major events on YouTube

Some of the most notable events that have been live broadcasted on YouTube include the YouTube Music Awards in 2013, the Royal Wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton in 2011, and the Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama in 2009.

In their early years, the only way to live stream a video was to use a third-party service like Ustream or Justin.tv. In 2011, YouTube began offering its own live streaming service. This service was initially only available to select partners, but it was later opened up to all users in 2012.

  • In March 2013, they announced that it would be partnering with NBC to live stream the first-ever episode of Saturday Night Live in its entirety. This live stream was watched by over six million people.
  • In August 2013, they announced that it would be live streaming the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. This live stream was watched by over nine million people.
  • In November 2013, they announced that it would be live streaming the 2013 American Music Awards. This live stream was watched by over ten million people.
  • In May 2014, they announced that it would be live streaming the 2014 World Cup. This live stream was watched by over thirty-six million people.
  • In October 2015, they announced that it would be live streaming the 2015 YouTube Music Awards. This live stream was watched by over thirteen million people.
  • In February 2017, they announced that it would be live streaming the 2017 Academy Awards. This live stream was watched by over twenty-eight million people.
  • In November 2017, they announced that it would be live streaming the 2017 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. This live stream was watched by over eighteen million people.

By now it is possible for users to also host live broadcasts, whether those might be in a visual podcast format or streaming Let’s Play gaming videos.

Special formats on YouTube

Some of the most popular special video formats are 360° videos and virtual reality (VR) videos. 360° videos are videos that are filmed at a 360° angle. This means that the viewer can rotate the video to see all around them. VR videos are videos that are filmed from a VR angle. This means that the viewer can put on a VR headset and be transported into the video.

In March 2015, the platform began supporting 360° videos. In September 2015, they began supporting VR videos. YouTube has also supported other special video formats in the past, including interactive videos and vertical videos. Interactive videos are videos that allow the viewer to interact with the video. This might be by clicking on different objects in the video or by answering questions.

Vertical videos are videos that are filmed at a vertical angle, as opposed to a horizontal angle. This is because most people hold their phones vertically when they watch videos. They began supporting vertical videos in January 2016, reacting on ongoing market and user trends.

Special types of content on YouTube

There are a variety of special content types on YouTube that are popular among users. Some of these content types include ASMR videos, mukbang videos, virtual walks, relaxation content, focus content, and other formats.

ASMR videos are videos that are designed to elicit a tingling sensation in the viewer. This sensation is known as Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. Mukbang videos are videos that feature people eating large quantities of food. These videos are popular in South Korea. Virtual walks are videos that allow the viewer to explore different places without leaving their home. Relaxation content is content that is designed to help the viewer relax. This might be through watching calming scenery or listening to soothing music.

Focus content is content that is designed to help the viewer focus on a specific task. This might be through watching videos that are designed to increase productivity or by listening to calming music. Other formats include memes, unboxing content, prank videos, reaction videos, and challenge videos. Prank videos are videos in which someone performs a prank on someone else. Reaction videos are videos in which the viewer watches someone else react to a video. Challenge videos are videos in which the viewer is challenged to do something.

Where is YouTube illegal and blocked?

YouTube Availability in 2021
Image: Wikiperuvian / Wikimedia Commons

YouTube is illegal to use in a few countries. In China, for example, the video platform is blocked by the government. This is because the Chinese government does not want its citizens to have access to videos that are critical of the government. The service is also illegal to use in North Korea. This is because the North Korean government does not want its citizens to have access to any information that is not approved by the government. The platform is also blocked in a few other countries, including Iran and Saudi Arabia, and a few others.

This article is part of the TechAcute glossary. For more information feel invited to review our glossary page and find out more about people, companies, and technology concepts.


Video: The entire history of YouTube (Hunter Williams)

Photo credit: The feature image has been done by Alina Rosanova. The photos in the body of the article have been credited right below their position.

Was this post helpful?

Christopher Isak
Christopher Isakhttps://techacute.com
Hi there and thanks for reading my article! I'm Chris the founder of TechAcute. I write about technology news and share experiences from my life in the enterprise world. Drop by on Twitter and say 'hi' sometime. ;)

Ad

Ad

Ad

Ad

Ad

Ad