Because YouTube provides us with everything, including tutorials, mindless entertainment and free education, many of us are able to find the YouTube icon on our phones’ menus without having to search.
Many of us sign up to be notified when new videos are available. This shows how integral YouTube has become to our digital lives.
YouTube is a popular and free platform that is accessible worldwide. However, few people are aware of its importance or how it became the global phenomenon it is today.
Here are some facts and figures that YouTube has made that will show you how important this site is to our culture and society. It will also help you reflect on the huge community behind YouTube, which we all love and know so well.
1. YouTube was originally designed to be a dating site.
YouTube was a simple internet site that appeared one day and we just started using it. YouTube’s launch in this way is a significant shift from its original purpose.
Many people don’t realize that the original idea for the site was to be a dating platform.
People would submit videos of themselves, with descriptions of who they are, what interests them, and viewers could then respond with their own video.
Jawed Karim and Steve Chen, the co-founders of this idea, discovered that not everyone wanted to upload video of themselves to a dating site. It was too personal and perhaps a little too creepy to be of any use to most singles. Their slogan, “Tune In, Hook Up,” didn’t do much to help matters.
Karim, Chen and Hurley used Craigslist to find people to upload videos. This was a controversial move that even they knew was questionable. They even offered $20 to women if they uploaded a video. The website they had started building was virtually unprofitable.
They knew they had something, but realized that dating was not the solution. The co-founders switched the site’s focus so anyone could upload videos to the internet. People became more interested in the site after they removed these restrictions.
Karim posted the first video, “Me at the Zoo”, in 2005. The site quickly grew and is now an internet institution.
2. PayPal Helps YouTube Fund Indirectly From the Start
This can be misleading. PayPal had nothing to do with YouTube’s birth, at least not directly.
Instead, PayPal was supposed to hire Jawed Karim and Steve Chen, as well as Chad Hurley, who would go on to create YouTube.
These bonuses PayPal gave to the three founders were part of the site’s seed capital. Instead of spending it on vacations or a pool in their home, they invested it in the company. The site quickly became a popular and lucrative destination.
Think about it – if these three people had needed to make major renovations to their homes, or if the desire to travel the world arose, YouTube may not have been possible.
It would be a horrible world.
3. YouTube was bought by Google for $1.65 Billion in a Year and Half after it launched
Some people may find YouTube to be a company that isn’t run independently. It is part of the Alphabet conglomerate, which includes Google and 200 smaller companies. It shouldn’t surprise that Alphabet is the most valuable company in the world, given how powerful YouTube and Google are online. Let’s take a look at the last ten years of Alphabet’s history.
In less than five years, the company’s value has more then doubled!
For those who knew of the YouTube-Google partnership, it might interest you to know that Google bought it for $1.65 Billion just 18 months after it launched on the internet.
This shows how eager the world was to have streaming video as a part their lives. The rise of Netflix around the same period – c. 2007, demonstrates what was missing in the digital world during the early 2000s.
It’s difficult to imagine a better situation for the YouTube founders. In just a few years, they went from being employees at PayPal to multi-millionaires. They were lucky!
4. YouTube is more popular than Bing, Yahoo! and Ask.
YouTube is either a search engine, or a social media website. There’s some debate about this. YouTube is a search engine. However, those who view it as such use the fact that you must search for content in order to see it. Advocates of YouTube being a social media website point out its dependence on user-generated material as a way to classify it in the same category as Facebook and Instagram.
Let’s forget about this argument for a second and pretend YouTube is a search engines. Because if that were true, YouTube would be the second most searched search engine in the world after Google.
Alphabet, the parent company of the site, has the two most used search engines in the world. This is a great spot to be.
YouTube’s immense reach in today’s society can be negated if you don’t consider it a search engine.
According to Alexa rankings, YouTube and Google are the most visited websites. Alphabet claims that it occupies the top two spots in the web, regardless of how you look at it.
5. YouTube has 98 different versions
YouTube’s global appeal is a big reason YouTube was able to grow to the point it is today. You can upload videos anywhere you are in the world and attract viewers from around the globe.
YouTube recognized this and created regional YouTube versions. These YouTube country-specific versions make it easier to find the content that is most relevant to you. This will give preference to content written in a particular language, and it makes it easier to reach the most relevant audiences for YouTube content creators.
YouTube currently has 98 versions.
6. YouTube is a frequent target of censorship attempts
YouTube is a powerful platform for social change. It’s easy to see why. YouTube allows anyone to post videos about any topic and almost anyone can view them. Although most people see this as an advantage of YouTube, some see it as a threat. This is especially true for those in power, who want to keep the status quo intact and limit the discussion that questions the current order.
YouTube is frequently one of the first websites that oppressive governments try to block in order to stop political dissent. China is a leader in this movement and has taken steps to block Facebook, Google and other social media platforms. Germany, which is a liberal country and promotes individual freedoms, was caught banning content. However, a lot of the content was blocked due to hate speech, often sympathizing with Nazis, or copyright violations. This is still quite surprising.
Saudi Arabia, which has a ban on access to most social media sites and controls what is published on TV, as well as laws that make it difficult for women not to leave the home without permission of their husbands, permits unlimited access to YouTube. This is why Saudi Arabia is the country that uses YouTube most.
It is certainly a strange place to live in.
7. More people watch YouTube than cable
Cable has become disproportionately costly for most people over the past ten- to twenty years. The price of cable has risen at a rate far greater than inflation. A movement known as “cord-cutting” has emerged to help people ditch cable and switch to online streaming.
It is not clear whether this is more affordable. There are multiple streaming services available, each of which will charge you extra to keep up with the increasing cost of high-speed Internet. However, it does help disgruntled customers of cable companies, which are many.
Cord-cutting is on the rise today, and YouTube plays a part in this. YouTube is a much larger platform than cable TV, which is bad news for telecommunications companies. This trend could lead to the end of cable TV. Check out https://getfans.io to boost your channels subscribers and views.
8. YouTube has 57,000 years worth of content
You’ve decided to make a big splash on social media. Now, sit down and watch all of the YouTube content. To generate publicity, you’ll blog about it and contact Guinness Book of World Records.
But not so quickly.
You would have to live at least 57,000 more years in order to do this. This assumes that no one else uploads any video between now, and the time you stop watching it.
This basically means that if you were to sit down and watch all of the content, and somehow secure your immortality by doing so, you’d likely never be able to complete the entire content.
While we all know there is a lot of content on the internet, how many people actually knew that there was so much?
9. 20 percent of videos are switched off within 10 seconds
In recent years, there has been much talk about how smartphones and other connected devices have reduced our attention spans. YouTube activity seems to support this. We turn off around 25% of YouTube videos before they reach the ten second mark.
This could be due to many reasons. You may have clicked on the wrong link, but most of it is due to first impressions. We click on the link if we aren’t impressed immediately or think that the video we have chosen isn’t going be good.
10. 45 Percent of YouTube users use it on a daily basis
Pew found that nearly half of YouTube users log on at least once a day to view videos. Another third log on at most once per week. This usage is comparable to other social media sites. However, people use Facebook, Instagram and SnapChat more frequently, with between 60-75 percent using it every single day.
11. Each day, we watch approximately 5 billion videos
This is a staggering number. The world’s total population is just 7 billion. This means that almost everyone who is old enough to access the internet watches at least one YouTube video each day.
This is not what is actually happening. It’s more likely that users are viewing multiple videos per day. YouTube is so ingrained in our digital lives that we can see how many videos are viewed each day.
12. YouTube generates more than $13 billion per year in ad revenue
YouTube has had advertising for a while now. While it is annoying to us users, the ads keep YouTube afloat.
YouTube generates over $11 billion in advertising revenue. The gross numbers are even higher.
YouTube is able to make a lot of money for its parent company Alphabet because it knows so much about you. YouTube keeps track of your videos, subscriptions, and content shared. Then it shows you ads that are most relevant to you.
This increases your likelihood of clicking on an advertisement. The company that paid for it hopes this will lead to a sale, sign-up, or whatever else they are looking for.
You think this is impossible? You might be wrong. YouTube’s advertising revenue is growing year after year and there’s no end in sight.
13. YouTube is valued at more than $150 billion
YouTube is not an independent entity because it is associated with Alphabet. Therefore, it is difficult to estimate the company’s market value. YouTube is an extremely valuable company based on the amount of revenue it generates and its huge following.
According to most estimates, YouTube would be worth $130 billion to $180 billion if it was an independent entity.
Just to give you an idea, it would still be one of the most valuable brands in the world. This is just one example of how powerful Alphabet can be; it has both YouTube and Google.
14. YouTube has around 2 Billion monthly active users
We can see that YouTube has around 2 billion active users monthly if we expand our scope. This is a significant increase from the original launch of YouTube, as you would expect due to the site’s popularity all over the globe. You can see how the site has grown over time.
This might make you think YouTube is slowing down. While they may be slowing down in some ways, we are actually seeing market saturation. Currently, the internet has access for only 4 billion people. YouTube is used by half of these people.
YouTube may not be able to stop drawing visitors at any given time, but large swathes of the population still waiting for reliable internet access – especially in Africa and Asia – it is possible to expect YouTube to continue its growth.
It is frightening to think that it could be larger than it is. It’s exciting to see the potential for this platform to grow.
When you next visit YouTube to view a video, remember that YouTube is not just a platform that allows you to upload, share and watch videos made by ordinary people from around the globe.
Be aware that you are engaging in a site that has penetrated the most fundamental parts of society and made it a permanent part of your life. You are visiting a website that began as a dating site and quickly grew into one of the most visited pages on the internet.
You can see that YouTube videos are part of a global movement that will continue to change the world.