YouTube's anniversary: How HOTorNOT started it all

YouTube's now serving a billion video views a day as it reaches its third anniversary of being owned by Google

YouTube is celebrating the third anniversary of its acquisition by Google by showing off an awful lot of O's. The little video site that could announced on Friday it was now streaming a full billion video views a day -- the majority of which, I have to assume, consist of cats playing music and teens doing awkward dances.

Still, a billion views a day is nothing to say "Numa Numa" over. YouTube has come a long way in a short time -- evolving much, you might say, like the dance moves shown in its most viewed video of all time.

YouTube: The Beginning

YouTube entered the world cold, naked, and confused in April of 2005. That's when the service's first video, a frank and engaging discussion of elephants, surfaced on the site.

The guy seen in the clip is Jawed Karim, one of three fellas involved in YouTube's founding. He and his cohorts met while they were all working at PayPal. One of them even designed PayPal's now-ubiquitous logo.

As the story goes, Steve Chen and Chad Hurley -- the other two dudes -- got a burst of inspiration when they realized how tough it was to share videos they'd shot at a dinner party. They started chatting, they say, and came up with the concept of a site that'd make casual video-sharing quick and easy.

The extent of Karim's involvement comes with plenty of questions. As this 2006 Time story explains, his role in the company has been minimalized in many accounts. He, however, says the dinner party never occurred and that he came up with the initial idea.

YouTube...For Dating?

Whoever thought of it, the initial concept wasn't exactly what you'd expect. YouTube's original goal, its founders have said, was to build a video version of -- you know, the site where you look at a bunch of uggos and rate just how repulsive they actually are.

Sure enough, early renditions of the YouTube home page include fields asking your gender and the gender and ages of people you're "seeking."

Needless to say, that setup didn't last for long. Within months, YouTube evolved into a hodgepodge of videos, featuring whatever random stuff people saw fit to upload. The slogan "Your Digital Video Repository" soon popped up beneath the now-familiar logo.

Getting Googled

The goulash-like approach worked wonders: By November of 2005, before YouTube had even officially launched, investors started pouring millions of dollars into the operation. The site opened its doors to the world that December, and less than a year later, Google came calling.

In October of '06, Google announced it was paying a cool $US1.65 billion to snatch up YouTube -- the search giant's most expensive purchase ever made at that point. A comment on PC World's story about the acquisition provides some amusing context to the deal:

"Google is looking for its second act. However, the second act will require more storage and processing power than we have ever seen."

YouTube, In Video

Hey, we could talk all day about YouTube's triumphs, trials, and tribulations. But wouldn't it be far more fitting to wrap things up with some shakily shot, user-created video?

The YouTube team itself uploaded a "Making of YouTube" clip that shows memories from the company's early years and its transition into Googledom.

And a Kansas State University anthropology class created a "History of YouTube" special that takes a walk down YouTube's first two years. It's complete with cheesy music and a sappy ending that'll leave you inspired... to hit the stop the button.

When not watching kitties dance on YouTube, JR Raphael gets jiggy at eSarcasm, his site for all things geek humor.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Googledigitial videoyoutube

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

JR Raphael

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Cool Tech

ASUS ROG Swift PG279Q – Reign beyond virtual world

Learn more >

D-Link PowerLine AV2 2000 Gigabit Network Kit

Learn more >

Crucial® BX200 SATA 2.5” 7mm (with 9.5mm adapter) Internal Solid State Drive

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

D-Link TAIPAN AC3200 Ultra Wi-Fi Modem Router (DSL-4320L)

Learn more >

Xiro Drone Xplorer V -3 Axis Gimbal & 1080p Full HD 14MP Camera

Learn more >

Gadgets & Things


Learn more >

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Family Friendly

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

ASUS VivoPC VM62 - Incredibly Powerful, Unbelievably Small

Learn more >

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Lexar Professional 2000x SDHC™/SDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1000x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Best Deals on PC World

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.


Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?