This Day in Tech History

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February 15, 2005:

YouTube Established

The now-ubiquitous video sharing site, YouTube, is launched. Few web sites have had such an immediate impact on our usage of the Internet.  The popular video sharing website, is established by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim, three former PayPal employees.

Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim

Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim

The company is based in San Bruno, California, and uses Adobe Flash Video and HTML5 technology to display a wide variety of user-generated video content, including movie clips, TV clips, and music videos, as well as amateur content such as video blogging, short original videos, and educational videos.

YouTube Headquarters

YouTube Headquarters

According to a story that has often been repeated in the media, Hurley and Chen developed the idea for YouTube during the early months of 2005, after they had experienced difficulty sharing videos that had been shot at a dinner party at Chen’s apartment in San Francisco. Karim did not attend the party and denied that it had occurred, while Chen commented that the idea that YouTube was founded after a dinner party “was probably very strengthened by marketing ideas around creating a story that was very digestible”.

With an upload every 20 minutes and over 1 Billion views a day, YouTube has definitely grown to a video powerhouse.  In May 2010, it was reported that YouTube was serving more than two billion videos a day, which it described as “nearly double the prime-time audience of all three major US television networks combined”. In January 2012, YouTube stated that the figure had increased to four billion videos streamed per day

Less than 2 years after its launch, Google paid $1.65 billion dollars to purchase it. Today, it only trails Facebook, Google, and Gmail as the most visited web sites in the world. Additionally, they created a new marketplace for the words “you” and “tube”.

First YouTube Video: Me at the Zoo

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