YouTube was originally created as a dating website with an unusual feature that allowed to upload your own videos. But users themselves predetermined its fate and the service became a platform for video sharing. In just 14 years since the launch, it received the title of the most visited video hosting in the world. But only a few people know the history of the YouTube creation. Let’s find out who stands behind this Internet giant.
The idea of creating a service for downloading short videos and showing them to all users belongs to three friends and former PayPal employees, Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Javed Karim.
According to legend, in January 2005, Chad and Steve organized a party. For some reason, Javed couldn’t come, so friends decided to send him a video. But they didn’t succeed, because the file was too large for uploading to websites.
Chad Hurley had the idea to create a site where users could post videos for sharing. Friends supported him, quit their jobs with good prospects, and began to work on this common initiative.
Designer Chad Hurley was the one who generated ideas, created the design, logo, and interface of the website. Developers Steve Chen and Javed Karim brought his ideas to life and took over the entire technical part. Initially, they worked in a tiny garage, having rented an office only in 2006.
On February 14, 2005, the guys registered the YouTube.com domain and started working on it. On April 23, 2005, Javed Karim uploaded the first pilot video from the San Diego Zoo. It lasted only 18 seconds.
The first comment under this video was made by the user COBALTGRUV, writing “Interesting …”.
YouTube Investors and Development
Initially, the service was conceived as a dating site where users all over the world could leave their short video profiles. To develop this project friends found investors, venture capital funds Sequoia Capital and Time Warner.
On November 22, 2005, Sequoia Capital invested $ 3 million in video hosting, which allowed the team to make it publicly accessible. This date is the official birthday of YouTube.
However, unexpectedly for developers, video hosting quickly turned from a dating site into a video sharing platform. This is because most users downloaded short videos about what is happening around them. As a result, they determined the orientation of the site.
From December 2005 to January 2006, the number of unique users increased threefold. And during the first year of work, each of the website creators earned about $ 300 million profit.
In July 2006, YouTube became the 5th most popular site in the United States with statistics of 100 million unique views and 200 million visitors per day.
Early autumn 2006, the founders of the service made several profitable contracts for live streaming with such giants as Warner Music, Sony BMG, and Universal Music Group. At the same time, Google shows interest in video hosting. The company offered three developers more than $ 1.6 billion in shares for the purchase of their service, and they accepted the deal.
After the acquisition, Steve Chen and Javed Karim left YouTube, but Chad Hurley remained CEO. He left the company only in 2010, but he remains an ideological and technical consultant to the service until now.
After the purchase, Google improved the service and in 2007 introduced a unique program that allowed users to earn money on the video content. Today, YouTube continues to follow up their success and is considered the largest video hosting in the world. It’s also expected that the platform will soon replace current television.
Interesting facts about YouTube:
- The first name of the service is Tune In Hook Up.
- The first million views were collected by Nike Commercial in September 2005. In that video famous football player Ronaldinho advertised the Nike brand.
- Tony Blair became the first world leader to officially use YouTube (2007).
- MySpace, in an attempt to start its own video hosting, banned links to YouTube. But they never managed to make their own service successful.
- Universal Tube & Rollform Equipment (Utube.com) has sued video hosting. So, due to the consonance of site names, users often confused them and ended up on Utube.com, thus making the service unavailable. The claim wasn’t sustained, and the company had to change its name to Utubeonline.com.
- Video hosting is almost entirely developed on the Python programming language.
- The service can automatically recognize 51 languages and create captions for the video.