14th of February – a day of love! A day when chocolate sales soar and couples are seen warming up to each other in cafes and restaurants across the city.
But the date is also significant for a different reason. Thirteen years back on the very same day, three distinct gentlemen were busy launching a website to host and share videos – a site that came to be known as YouTube!
Here’s a look at how it came into being and some facts about the video sharing platform you probably wouldn’t have known.
In 2005, three former PayPal employees Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim thought of coming up with a video version of the then famous dating website called ‘Hot or Not’ but later decided not to head down that lane. So, YouTube before becoming 'YouTube' was a video dating site called ‘Tune In Hook Up’.
On 14 February 2005, the three activated the domain name www.youtube.com and the website was developed over the subsequent months. The logo and trademark was also registered on the same day.
The initial funding for YouTube came from bonuses received following the eBay buy-out of PayPal. So in a way, YouTube wouldn't have existed if it weren't for PayPal.
It was in October 2006 that Google announced the acquisition of YouTube for $1.65 billion dollars (a great bargain at that!) and later in November the deal was finalised.
As of last year, YouTube has more than 1.5 billion logged-in monthly active users. It is available in almost 90 countries with close to billion hours of content watched on a daily basis.
It is the second most used search engine after Google with an annual revenue of more than $4.3 billion dollars!
If that was not enough, there are some more lesser-known facts on the video-sharing website that’ll pique your interest.
Interesting YouTube Facts
- Universal Tube & Rollform Equipment filed a lawsuit against YouTube in November 2006 after its website www.utube.com’s registered millions of hits by people looking for YouTube.
- The first YouTube video was uploaded on 23 April 2005, titled ‘Me at the zoo’, which shows co-founder Jawed Karim at the San Diego Zoo talking about elephants.
- In September 2005, a video hit a million views for the first time on YouTube, thanks to a Nike ad starring football legend Ronaldinho.
- The first video to hit a billion views was Korean rapper Psy’s song ‘Gangnam Style’ in December 2012, triggering an upgrade of YouTube’s view counter to accommodate a billion views.
- YouTube’s co-creators, Hurley and Chen’s ideation gave birth to YouTube after they experienced difficulty in sharing videos shot at Chen’s dinner party.
- ‘Despacito’ by Luis Fonsi featuring rapper Daddy Yankee is the fastest to reach 2.5 billion views and is currently the most viewed video on YouTube with more than 4.8 billion views (as of February 2018).
- According to YouTube, in March 2010, 60 IPL matches were streamed live on YouTube, making it the first free online broadcast of a major sporting event.
- The most searched tutorial on YouTube is “How to Kiss”. More than 100 million hours of instructional videos on it are viewed every year.
- Susan Diane Wojcicki, the woman who rented her garage to Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1998 – when they were creating Google – later went on to become the CEO of YouTube.
- Justin Bieber’s hit single ‘Baby’ is the most disliked video on YouTube with more than 8 million dislikes. Justin’s channel also has the largest number of subscribers online.
Over the years, YouTube has become a very successful website/app and it continues to develop every year with updates like YouTube Kids and a lighter version of the app called YouTube Go.
All of this in just 13 years! Well done YouTube!