You Won’t Believe When YouTube Started and What the First Video Was!

The Birth of YouTube

YouTube started in 2005, when three former PayPal employees, Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim, decided to create a website where anyone could upload and watch videos easily.

They registered the domain name on February 14, 2005, and started working on the project in a garage with some angel funding from Sequoia Capital.

Initially, the site was meant to be a dating platform, where users could upload videos of themselves and search for potential partners. However, the founders soon realized that people were more interested in sharing funny and interesting videos than in finding dates.

How did YouTube get its name?

The name “YouTube” is a backronym that was created by the founders.

The “You” represents that the content is user-generated, created by the individual users and not the site itself.

The “Tube” is a nod to the original term for television, implying that this video-sharing platform is like viewing home videos on the internet.

However, they couldn’t come up with a good domain name so they used “Tuube”, which was met with mixed reviews from friends and family members who thought it sounded too much like tube (as in toilet paper).

They later changed it to “YouTube” after finding out that was available.

The First YouTube Video

The first video ever uploaded on YouTube was titled “Me at the zoo” and was uploaded by co-founder Jawed Karim on April 23, 2005. The video is only 18 seconds long and features Karim standing in front of the elephant exhibit at the San Diego Zoo.

In the video, Karim says, “All right, so here we are in front of the elephants, and the cool thing about these guys is that they have really, really, really long trunks.”

Although the video is short and not particularly exciting, it has become an iconic piece of YouTube history. It has over 100 million views and has been referenced in countless articles, videos, and memes.

The Early Years of YouTube

In the early years of YouTube, the site was still trying to find its footing. There were only a few thousand videos on the site, and most of them were low-quality and amateurish.

However, as more and more people began to discover the site, the quality of the videos improved, and the site began to gain popularity.

One of the key factors in YouTube’s early success was the fact that it was free to use. Anyone could upload a video and share it with the world, without having to pay any fees. This made it an ideal platform for amateur filmmakers, musicians, and comedians who wanted to get their work seen by a wider audience.

The Rise of Viral Videos

As more and more people began to use YouTube, a new phenomenon emerged: the viral video. These were videos that were shared widely across the internet, often through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. They were usually funny, weird, or shocking, and they often featured ordinary people doing something extraordinary or unexpected.

Some of the most famous viral videos of all time include “Charlie Bit My Finger,” “David After Dentist,” and “Gangnam Style.” These videos helped to establish YouTube as a platform for sharing viral content and paved the way for the site’s future success.

YouTube Today

Today, YouTube is one of the largest websites in the world, with billions of users and millions of videos uploaded every day. The site has become a key platform for businesses, musicians, and content creators of all kinds.

Despite its massive size and influence, YouTube is still a place where anyone can upload a video and potentially become a viral sensation. From cat videos to makeup tutorials, there is a place for just about any kind of content on the site.


In conclusion, YouTube has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 2005. From a dating platform to a global phenomenon, the site has changed the way we share and consume video content.

The first video uploaded on the site, “Me at the zoo,” may not have been particularly exciting, but it marked the beginning of a new era in online video sharing.

Today, YouTube is a hub for viral content, political discourse, and a wide range of other content that reflects the diversity of human interests and experiences.

Despite its many controversies and challenges, YouTube remains one of the most powerful and influential platforms in the world. Whether you’re looking for entertainment, education, or inspiration, you’re sure to find something on this video-sharing site.

Interesting facts about YouTube:

  • YouTube is the second most popular social media platform in the world, after Facebook.
  • YouTube is also the second largest search engine in the world, after Google.
  • YouTube has more than 50 million content creators who collectively upload over 500 hours of video every minute.
  • YouTube reaches more 18-49 year-olds than any broadcast or cable TV network.
  • YouTube is available in over 100 countries and 80 languages.
  • YouTube’s global advertising revenue in 2022 was $7.07 billion.
  • The most subscribed YouTube channel as of January 2023 is T-Series with over 232 million subscribers.
  • The most viewed YouTube video as of January 2023 is “Baby Shark Dance” by Pinkfong Kids’ Songs & Stories with over 10 billion views.
  • The highest-paid YouTube star in 2020 was Ryan Kaji from Ryan’s World with $29.5 million.
  • The longest video on YouTube is “THE LONGEST VIDEO ON YOUTUBE – 596 HOURS” by Jonathan Harchick with a duration of 596 hours (24 days).


(1) YouTube Statistics 2023: Data For Brands & Creators – demandsage.
(2) YouTube Statistics 2023 [Users by Country + Demographics].
(3) YouTube: Statistics & Data | Statista.
(4) 10 YouTube Statistics That You Need to Know in 2022 – Oberlo.

    Comments are closed