From elephant video to streaming giant, YouTube turns eight

youtube-tv-flWhen Jawed Karim set about recording the very first video for his new YouTube website back in 2005 – a video in which he helpfully pointed out the fact that elephants have “really, really, really long trunks” – he couldn’t possibly have known it would grow at phenomenal speed into the Internet giant it is today.

Judging by his initial effort, he probably just thought that over time it would be filled with amusing elephant-based videos, though it was the humble house cat that ended up taking that role (how could he have got it so wrong?).

Over the years, however, YouTube has built up a library of content on every subject imaginable, while at the same time expanding to include original premium programming produced by professional broadcasters. Full-length feature films and live streaming presentations are also now part of the site’s set up.

Over the weekend, the video streaming site celebrated its eighth birthday, with a post on its blog revealing that today YouTubers upload more than 100 hours of video every minute. Yes, you read it right – every minute. By way of comparison, this time last year YouTube said 60 hours of video were being uploaded to its servers every minute, so the site is clearly continuing to enjoy massive growth.

“Every month, more than 1 billion people come to YouTube to access news, answer questions and have a little fun,” the team behind the site said on its blog. “That’s almost one out of every two people on the Internet.”

The post went on to offer thanks for making YouTube “special”.

“And so, on our eighth birthday, we’d like to thank you for making YouTube the special place that it is. For showing us how video can create connections, transcend borders and make a difference. For clicking these links even if you aren’t sure what they’ll be, but you trust us. In short, thanks for making us better in big ways and small ones, too. We can’t wait to see what you come up with next.”

As for the site’s most watched video, that accolade goes to Psy’s elephant-free Gangnam Style music video, which, at the time of writing, has been viewed a staggering 1.6 billion times since first appearing on the site in July last year.

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