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9 things you didn’t know about YouTube


Day 28 of Blogathon 2013

Let’s call today Fun Friday and not talk about writing at all. Instead, let’s talk about that time waster called YouTube .

  1. YouTube has been around since 2005, though it seems longer. The original idea was for it to be an online dating service modeled after something called Hot or Not, a site that lets you rate people online.
  2. The first YouTube video, called Me at  the zoo, shows YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim at the San Diego Zoo. It was uploaded in 2005, and can still be viewed.
  3. The most-viewed video uploaded by a user is “Charlie Bit My Finger!” , uploaded on May 22, 2007, which went viral and has been seen by more than 500 million people.The clip features two English brothers, with 1-year-old Charlie biting his 3-year-old brother Harry’s finger.
  4. According to YouTube, 1 hour of video is uploaded to YouTube every second, most of it by individuals.  The site has videos in 54 languages, three quarters of them from outside US.
  5. There are localized versions of YouTube in 57 countries.
  6. Any user can upload a video up to 15 minutes long. In January 2012, YouTube estimated that visitors spent an average of 15 minutes a day on the site, compared with the 4 or 5 hours a day watching television.
  7. The most viewed video of all so far is the music video of the song Gangnam Style by PSY. It was added to the site on July 15, 2012. By that December it had become the first YouTube video to receive over 1 billion views.
  8. YouTube has featured an April Fools prank on the site on April 1 of every year since 2008:
    •    2008: All the links to the videos on the main page were redirected to Rick Astley’s music video “Never Gonna Give You Up”, a prank known as “Rickrolling”.
    •    2009: When clicking on a video on the main page, the whole page turned upside down. YouTube claimed that this was a new layout.
    •    2010: YouTube temporarily released a “TEXTp” mode, which translated the colors in the videos to random upper case letters. YouTube claimed in a message that this was done in order to reduce bandwidth costs by $1 per second.
    •    2011: The site celebrated its “100th anniversary” with a “1911 button” and a range of sepia-toned silent, early 1900s-style films, including “Flugelhorn Feline”, a parody of Keyboard Cat.
    •    2012: Clicking on the image of a DVD next to the site logo led to a video about “The YouTube Collection”, an option to order every YouTube video for home delivery on DVD, videocassette, Laserdisc, or Betamax tapes. The spoof promotional video promised “It’s the complete YouTube experience completely offline.”
    •    2013: YouTube teamed up with newspaper satire company The Onion to claim that the video sharing website was launched as a contest which had finally come to an end, and would announce a winner of the contest when the site went back up in 2023. A video of two presenters announcing the nominees streamed live for twelve hours.
  9. And finally, mariachi serenade a beluga whale.

Happy weekend. Two Blogathon posts to go!

How much time do you spend on YouTube?  Comment above.

2 Responses to 9 things you didn’t know about YouTube

  1. Jean Gogolin says:

    Thanks, Paula. I’ll sort of miss doing them too . . . but it’ll be a relief to get back to maybe twice a week.

  2. Paula Suita says:

    Love the mariachi band and the beluga whale! Thanks for giving me a great end of the week. P.S. I’m already starting to wean myself of your daily blogs. I will miss them.

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