There is very little argument that YouTube is an internet phenomenon and to give you some idea of the scale of its popularity, consider the fact that more video content is uploaded to YouTube in a two months than the three major U.S TV networks have managed to produce between them in the last 60 years.
It is estimated that the average visitor to YouTube, spends an average of more than ten minutes and up to 25 minutes a day on the site. So that much you do know now, but how many of the following incredible and amazing facts and figures do you know already?
The PayPal connection
YouTube was the creation of Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim back in 2005 and they knew each other from working together on the then fledgling start-up PayPal. YouTube started out being funded by bonuses received by the guys from the eBay buy-out of PayPal and the rest as they say, is history.
Looking for love?
The story is that the three-amigos originally thought about setting up an internet video dating site called Tune In Hook Up, but the idea never got off the ground and the concept for what we have today was sparked by a couple of events. Karim was unable to find footage online of the famous Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction and subsequently Chen and Hurley found they were unable to share video footage of a dinner-party event they had filmed due to e-mail attachment limits, causing them to spot the opportunity that became YouTube.
The YouTube domain name was first registered on Valentine’s Day back in 2005 but it initially caused confusion with people who had some spelling issues as the domain utube which belonged to the Universal Tube and Rollform Equipment Company suddenly became overwhelmed by traffic on its site.
That confusion led to the company eventually changing their site name and anyone landing on utube.com is no longer presented with information on roll form equipment.
The first ever video uploaded to YouTube was shot at San Diego zoo and features Jawed Karim talking about elephant trunks, which despite the potential limitations of the subject, has racked up well over 4m views over the last 8 years.
The expression given to an online practical joke started back in 2008 and it is estimated that over 18m people in the U.S alone had been Rickrolled. The prank involving the singer Rick Astley apparently took its inspiration from the original 4chan prank which duckrolled users via links that led you to a duck on wheels.
The annual day for pranks has become a ritual for YouTube over the last few years and so far, visitors to the site on April Fool’s day have been treated to a homepage where every video was a Rickroll and in 2009 they turned the site upside down, much to the confusion of surfers who had not checked the date.
No signs of stopping
The popularity of YouTube just keeps on growing and according to figures compiled in 2011, the site attracts 490 million unique visitors every month with an amazing 92 billion page views per month which adds up to 2.9 billion hours on YouTube every month or 325,000 years!
Social media stats related to YouTube are equally impressive and the site estimates that there are an average of 400 tweets per minute generated that contain a YouTube link and Facebook users are understood to watch the equivalent of 150 years’ worth of YouTube videos every day.
Some of these facts and figures might surprise you but as the popularity of YouTube continues to grow each year. This hardly even factors in explosion of devices that can be used to watch YouTube on. With applications such as YTD making it possible to download and convert videos to be used on virtually any device, online or offline, it is even more possible than ever to watch what you want, where you want at any time you want. One can only conclude that YouTube is likely to continue growing at an amazing pace for a long time yet.
Always make sure you respect IP with video downloads.
About the author
Shane Turney is a social media whiz. He takes his years of experience to blog about the ins and outs of popular sites that can be for personal, business, or organizational use.