YouTube Turns 15 Years Old Today – See The First Uploaded Video
It’s amazing how fast time flies and how quickly things can change. Fifteen years ago today – on April 23, 2005 – Jawed Karim uploaded the very first video on YouTube titled “Me at the Zoo.” The rest, as they say, is history.
Karim is one of the co-founders of YouTube, along with Steven Chen and Chad Hurley – and the “Me at the Zoo” video is just 18 seconds long. It is the only video on Karim’s channel, and it has racked up more than 90 million views in the past 15 years.
Karim was just 25-years-old at the time, and he took the video in front of the elephants at the San Diego Zoo in California.
“Alright, so here we are, in front of the elephants,” said Karim.“The cool thing about these guys is that they have really, really, really long, um, trunks. And that’s, that’s cool. And that’s pretty much all there is to say.”
Shortly after Karim uploaded the video, YouTube went live with a beta test. And, by the time the site officially launched in December 2005, it was already getting millions of views daily.
According to CNN, just one year after Karim created and uploaded the video, Google purchased YouTube from Karim, Chen, and Hurley for $1.65 billion. Today, the platform has more than two billion users, and they watch more than one billion hours of video content every day.
The most-watched video on the site during its first decade-and-a-half is the music video for Luis Fonsio and Daddy Yankee’s song Despacito. The video was uploaded on January 12, 2017, and it currently has more than six billion views.
Number two on the list is Baby Shark Dance, number three is Ed Sheeran’s music video for Shape of You, and number four is Charlie Puth and Wiz Khalifa’s video for See You Again.
Karim never took a “salary, benefits, or even a formal title,” according to The New York Times. Even though Karim was part of YouTube’s creation, he ended up going to Stanford to earn a master’s degree in Computer Science, while Hurley and Chen built the company.
Still, he was one of the largest shareholders of the company when they sold it to Google, and he made millions from the deal. This was his second internet jackpot in less than five years, as Jawed Karim was part of PayPal in the early years and he made a ton of cash when eBay purchased the site.
In addition to the free videos that viewers can watch with commercials, YouTube also has the premium, commercial-free option for $11.99 per month, as well as YouTubeTV which gives viewers access to more than 70 traditional TV channels for $49.99 per month.