YouTube has more than 2 billion monthly users visiting the video-sharing platform for their favorite vlogs, music videos, sports highlights, and more.
YouTube was founded 15 years ago above a California pizza shop by three early PayPal employees. Since then, it’s become the most popular free video-sharing platform in the world.
Take a look at the history of YouTube, from its start as a failed video-dating website to a powerhouse platform that’s launched a new generation of money-making YouTubers and influencers.
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In its 15-year history, YouTube has become the undisputed king of online video.
It has over 2 billion monthly users who watch hundreds of hundreds of millions of hours of content every single day. But many people don’t know how YouTube got its start.
The company rose like a rocket ship after its founding in 2005, and was bought by Google scarcely a year later. Under Google, YouTube went from being a repository of amateur video to a powerhouse of original content, not to mention a launching pad for its own new brand of superstar, like PewDiePie and the Smosh Brothers.
Here is how YouTube got its explosive start, and maintained that momentum to become the biggest force in online video.
February 2005: Three early employees at e-payment startup PayPal — Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim — start working on a free video-sharing site called YouTube. Hurley registers the trademark, logo, and domain for YouTube on Valentine’s Day while sitting in YouTube’s first headquarters above a pizzeria in California. Hurley becomes YouTube’s first CEO.
Reuters/Lucas Jackson; YouTube
February 2005: The cofounders initially think of YouTube as “a new kind of dating site,” with the slogan “Tune in, Hook up.” However, YouTube-as-a-dating-site attracts few users, and the cofounders are forced to take out ads to offer women $20 to upload “dating videos” onto YouTube. “Our users were one step ahead of us,” Jawed Karim later says. “They began using YouTube to share videos of all kinds.”
April 2005: While the dating service doesn’t pan out, the three cofounders transform their idea into a free video-sharing platform, thanks to inspiration from two significant events in 2004: Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction at the Super Bowl, and the devastating tsunami in the Indian Ocean.
Getty Images Entertainment/Frank Micelotta
Source: USA Today
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