All the milestones YouTube achieved in less than a decade has made it the world’s second largest search engine, and a key platform for online video marketing and advertising.
The online video sharing service, developed by a trio of former PayPal employees in February 2005, now allows users to upload, watch, and share videos to each other and to other websites, such as Facebook.
At present, the headquarters of YouTube is in San Bruno, California. It shows an extensive array of video content generated by users though HTML5 and Adobe Flash Video technologies. The typical uploaded contents are a movie and TV clips, music videos, video blogs, educational videos, and original videos.
YouTube was established by three former employees of e-commerce firm PayPal: Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim. Reports say Hurley and Chen coined the idea for YouTube in the early part of 2005, after they had a hard time to share videos taken from a dinner party at the San Francisco apartment of Chen.
Karim was not at the party and even denied it happened. Karim said the motivation to create YouTube was because of the 2004 Super Bowl incident, wherein the breast of Janet Jackson accidentally slipped in her performance on stage. He had a hard time to look for a video clip of the event online. He said this led to the idea of an online video sharing service. However, Hurley and Chen said the original development plan was to build a video version of Hot or Not, an online dating service.
Nearly all of the videos uploaded on the website are by individuals, even though YouTube partners, such as BBC, CBS, Hulu, Vevo, and other major organizations, provide their own videos on the site.
YouTube does not require users to register before they can watch videos, but the advantage for members is their unlimited number of video uploads. In addition, videos deemed potentially invasive or disturbing are accessible only to registered users 18 years old and above.
In 2006, Google bought YouTube for $1.65 billion and the company now functions as a subsidiary of the online advertising and search engine giant.
In November 2011, Google integrated its social networking site Google+ with YouTube and its web browser Google Chrome. The move allowed YouTube videos to be watched directly from Google+. A month after that, YouTube launched its new user interface, with video channels shown at the center of the homepage, the same way social networks present their news feed. In addition, a new version of the YouTube logo was used with a darker red color.
The title for the most viewed YouTube video is held by the music video of South Korean singer PSY with his song “Gangnam Style.” It was uploaded on July 2012 and surpassed the leading videos at the time to be the first YouTube video with 1 billion views on December 2012.
To highlight its achievements and statistics, Mushroom Networks has packed the most recent information about YouTube in an infographic.