The History of YouTube: How YouTube Started

Can you remember when was the last day that you haven't watched anything on YouTube? YouTube is now one of the major parts of our online lives but did you know that it is just slightly older than a decade? This post will talk about the history of YouTube, how it first started and reached where it is now today.

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When you think of online videos, the first website that comes to your mind is most probably YouTube. Founded over 10 years ago, YouTube has become not only the most popular video sharing website, but also one of the most visited websites in the world.

Compared to its many alternatives, YouTube has been doing a lot of things correctly about publishing and sharing videos online, and as a result it climbed the ladder to being the number one video site with no real competition.

YouTube is owned and operated by Google. It is not only a great platform for uploading and sharing videos of any kind such as personal, business related, fun, music, streaming, reviews, tutorials etc. but it is also a nice tool for storing your videos. You can keep the stored videos private or embed them on your website or somewhere else. YouTube is also available as a mobile app.

When Was YouTube Founded?

YouTube was founded as a video sharing service in February 14, 2005 by three founders: Chad Hurley, Jawed Karim and Steve Chen. The domain name was made live on that day and the further development of the site continued by the coming months till it was officially published in December 15, 2005. Beginning as a technology startup, their first office was located in San Mateo, California.

According to the founders of YouTube, which were all former PayPal employees, the idea of creating the site popped up due to a lack of available online videos and video sharing services at the time.

When Was YouTube Acquired by Google?

When YouTube became a huge success and experienced exponential growth in terms of number of members and visitors in a short time, it grabbed the attention of major companies such as Google. On November 13, 2006, YouTube was acquired by Google, and since then it is run by the same company.

In order to see the visual change YouTube homepage has gone through over the years, you can compare the following screenshot from 2005, which was taken from The WayBack Machine (a tool for viewing older versions of websites):

A Brief History of YouTube: How YouTube Started - 1

with the following image from 2016:

A Brief History of YouTube: How YouTube Started - 2

(YouTube and the YouTube logo are registered trademarks of Google Inc., used with permission.)

Though it seems to have gone through a major overhaul, its focus is still on searching and uploading videos easily.

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Some Important Dates in the History of YouTube

The following is a list of important dates in YouTube's history.

February 14, 2005YouTube was founded.
April 23, 2005The first video was uploaded to YouTube.
May 2005YouTube offered public beta testing.
September 2005First video to reach 1 million views.
December 15, 2005YouTube website was officially launched.
July 2006YouTube reached 100 million video views a day.
November 13, 2006YouTube was acquired by Google.
March 2010YouTube began free streaming.
August 26, 2015YouTube Gaming (streaming) was launched.
October 29, 2016YouTube was ranked as the 2nd most visited website by Alexa.

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