YouTube celebrates fifth anniversary

Five years ago this month, YouTube launched the beta version of its site to the world, six months before the official launch in November 2005.

The site grew rapidly, and in July 2006 the company announced that more than 65,000 new videos were being uploaded every day, and that the site was receiving 100 million video views per day.

Today the video site serves up over two billion views a day.

To commemorate its anniversary, Google has created the YouTube Five Year Channel which lets users post videos of how Youtube has affected them along with an interactive Timeline of video milestones and playlists curated by a handful of luminaries and celebrities.

YouTube History

YouTube was created by three former PayPal employees – Steve Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim in February 2005.

According to a story that has often been repeated in the media, Chad Hurley and Steve 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. Jawed Karim did not attend the party and denied that it had occurred, and Chad Hurley told Time Magazine 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.”

YouTube began as a venture-funded technology startup, primarily from a US$11.5 million investment by Sequoia Capital between November 2005 and April 2006. YouTube’s early headquarters were situated above a pizzeria and Japanese restaurant in San Mateo, California. The domain name was activated on February 15, 2005, and the website was developed over the subsequent months.

The first YouTube video was entitled Me at the zoo, and shows founder Jawed Karim at San Diego Zoo. The video was uploaded on April 23, 2005, and can still be viewed on the site.

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