YouTube Turns Five

Has it only been five years? Yes, it has only been five years. The site that has become synonymous with video on the web, the site that sparked so many delightful internet memes, turns five years old today. Whether it’s the best line in video game history repeated a million times over, or the most beautiful piece of art ever created in human history (the lesser-known HD version, of course), YouTube has it all.

Of course, YouTube gets lots of laughs for all the crazy content you can find there – but apart from the obvious lack of hard core porn, would we really want it any other way? Isn’t YouTube really the perfect representation of what the internet is all about (except for the lack of porn, that is)? Sharing stuff with the world – no matter how crazy or ridiculous it is?

“Five years ago, after months of late nights, testing and preparation, YouTube’s founders launched the first beta version of in May, with a simple mission: give anyone a place to easily upload their videos and share them with the world,” the YouTube team writes, “Whether you were an aspiring filmmaker, a politician, a proud parent, or someone who just wanted to connect with something bigger, YouTube became the place where you could broadcast yourself.”

I’m fairly sure the world would be a much bleaker place without YouTube and all the competing sites it spawned. I mean really, would you want an internet without this? Seven months, 25 million views, baby, so I know y’all agree with me. Writing this item took a lot longer than usual simply because I watched this one like 10 times.

Seriously now, YouTube has carved a very special place for itself in the internet, and it hosts not only cute kitten videos, but also boatloads of music videos that would otherwise have become lost in MTV’s archives (seriously – does MTV still exist? I’m genuinely interested). It does HD, film studios upload their stuff, and god knows what else. More importantly though – it has given people a soapbox for more important matters, like the recent unrest in Iran.

“What started as a site for bedroom vloggers and viral videos has evolved into a global platform that supports HD and 3D, broadcasts entire sports seasons live to 200+ countries,” the team details, “We bring feature films from Hollywood studios and independent filmmakers to far-flung audiences. Activists document social unrest seeking to transform societies, and leading civic and political figures stream interviews to the world.”

It started with this, the first ever YouTube video, and it has become one of the most popular sites on the web. Two billion views every day, 24 hours of video uploaded every minute – figures that go way over your head.

And you know what’s the craziest thing about all this? YouTube is only five years old, but it already feels like such an integral part of society that makes it seem as if YouTube has been around for a lot longer. Yes, I know it’s cool in geek circles to look down on youTube, but I don’t care: YouTube is awesome, and I hope they’ll be here for a lot longer. YouTube is minxy!

Of course, if they don’t go with an open codec, I will have to retroactively delete this story.


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