The blog is back to the living …
The first YouTube video was entitled “Me at the zoo” and shows co-founder Jawed Karim at the San Diego Zoo. The video was uploaded on 23 April 2005 and is nearing 8 million views.
YouTube was founded by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim. They were all employees of PayPal and received their first big payout when Ebay bought PayPal in 2002.
The unofficial legend is the trio decided to team up on some new projects. A dating site called Tune In Hook Up, was not the winning ticket. They were then inspired by the fact that they had a hard time finding good videos of stuff online They got the idea to have a website where users can share and host videos, and that is the success story.
YouTube began as a venture-funded technology startup, primarily from a $11.5 million investment by Sequoia Capital between November 2005 and April 2006. http://www.youtube.com was activated on 14 February 2005. Forget the Ebay payout, because in October 2006, Google acquired YouTube for $1.65 billion in Google stock.
YouTube is the dominant provider of online video in the United States, with more than 14 billion videos views. YouTube says that roughly 60 hours of new videos are uploaded to the site every minute, and that around three quarters of the material comes from outside the U.S. The site has eight hundred million unique users a month.
Interesting note: In 2008, YouTube was awarded a 2008 a Peabody Award and cited for being “a ‘Speakers’ Corner’ that both embodies and promotes democracy”.