YouTube is a video hosting platform that allows users to upload videos which include self generated music clips, educational videos, TV clips and amateur content such as video blogging. It is also a platform for music companies and corporations to release official music videos, movie trailers and also business advertising. Today it supports up to 1080p resolution and the duration limit is fixed at 15 minutes. There were more than 14 billion views on YouTube in the month of May 2010.
Three early employees of PayPal, Chad Hurley, Jawed Karim and Steve Chen founded YouTube in 2005. There are conflicting stories about what was the context and inspiration in founding YouTube. Some say that they were inspired by the difficulty in sending a video file via email. Others say that they started YouTube influenced by the website Hot or Not and were planning to make a video version of an online dating site.
Well the YouTube domain was registered in February 2005 and the site went live in May. YouTube became a huge success owing to the word of mouth appreciation it received. It offered a beta version in May 2005 but secured $3.5 million from Sequoia Capital and made an official launch in November 2005. It was followed by an $8 million funding during April 2006.
In July 2006 the company revealed that more than 65,000 videos were being uploaded every day. And the different videos were being viewed more than 100 million times a day. This much growth in such a short time was unbelievable. They needed more capital in order to keep the servers going and increasing the bandwidth in order to host the increasing number of videos each day. Also they invested in adding new features which also contributed to its increased success and growth.
The first YouTube video was uploaded on April 23, 2005. Today it boasts of billions of viewers each month viewing millions of videos in nearly every language on the planet. It has more than 40% market share in the American market. In November 2006 Google bought YouTube for a mind-boggling $1.65 billion. In two years reaching that sales value is really a sign of perfect execution that the team members have achieved. From 2007 YouTube is part of the Google Universe which provides for all our needs within its four walls itself.
In 2007 YouTube consumed as much bandwidth as the whole internet in the year 2000. YouTube is the third most visited site on the planet behind Google and Facebook. And naturally more than 75% of the content is uploaded from outside the U.S. In March 2010, YouTube began free live streaming of some content including sports events and concerts. In May 2011 its per day viewership stood at an astounding 3 billion.
Well you only need to install the Adobe Flash Player plug-in to your browser to watch the videos on YouTube. All account holders are allowed to upload unlimited content in formats like .AVI, .MOV, MP4, .MPEG-4, .WMV and .VOB. YouTube Videos can be viewed in all formats up to 1080p. The website is available in 54 different languages and has local domains for different countries.
Many videos posted on YouTube go viral, meaning it is shared immensely and gathers a huge number of views in a short number of time. Videos like ‘Gangnam Style’ and ‘Harlem Shake’ have gone viral and collected millions of views around the world in a short span of time. The ‘Gangnam Style’ video is the highest viewed video till date receiving more than a billion views.
YouTube prohibits sexually explicit content, animal abuse, hate speeches, spam, etc. Also it prohibits uploading copyrighted material including TV shows, music videos or advertisements recorded or shot without permission. Many lawsuits have been filed against YouTube for hosting copyrighted material. YouTube is always on the lookout for deleting unauthorized content and avoiding people from leaking pirated material on YouTube.
YouTube has had a fairytale success by reaching the top of the internet in the span of 4 years. It shows that proper execution is important for improving the usability and keeping up with the latest developments in the technology field. YouTube has become an easy platform for people from all around the world to communicate, learn, be entertained and educated from the comforts of their homes. Soon YouTube will be the entertainment hub of the world stealing people’s focus from the greatest invention of the 20th century, the television.