The well known video sharing web site celebrates five years in existence.
It’s a birthday which almost passed unnoticed. YouTube’s fifth birthday was a lot less celebrated than Facebook’s sixth birthday, although since it was first put online YouTube has become a site of reference on the web due to the boom in online videos.
Purchased by Google for 1.65 billion dollars, YouTube was created in February 2005 by three employees of PayPal: Steve Chen and Chad Hurley (photo shown after the purchase by Google) and Jawed Karim. The current CEO of YouTube, Chad Hurley, posted a note this weekend to remind users that the domain name YouTube was registered on the 14th of February 2005.
Unlike the usual celebrations seen for this kind of birthday, Chad Hurley didn’t release any astronomical statistics about YouTube and its history. This was previously done at their third birthday and again when purchased by Google in October 2009, with the last update stating that 1 billion videos are consulted each day!
The "online video revolution" For YouTube’s fifth birthday, Chad Hurley took a democratic approach stating that the video portal provides a voice to people from all walks of life. "Video has the power of being able to give birth to a range of faces and voices more diversified then anything seen or heard in human history".
While Chad Hurley was thanking the YouTube community, we shouldn’t forget the work performed by the content creators and references to partners which are provided through the "control tools" and the "economic model". These elements are often debated with YouTube as a subject and how they have handled previous difficulties previously linked to copyright and the signing of an agreement with Warner Music. Competing services like Veoh wouldn’t have been able to withstand such attacks by Vivendi Universal in the way YouTube did, with these systems surely failing under similar pressure.
Having now been in existence for five years, YouTube has confirmed their ambition to become the "online video broadcasting standard", without neglecting innovation like 3D and the deployment of a voice recognition system. At the end of 2009, YouTube changed to the 1080p mode for high definition videos, while testing has been underway since the beginning of the year for the HTML 5 player. In terms of "Web standards", the choice of the proprietary H.264 codec hasn’t pleased everybody though.
Since YouTube is planning to celebrate their fifth year in existence over the full year, we can hope to see some new features appear later in 2010. On YouTube, the first video which was put online is titled "Me at the zoo". Still available, it features co-founder Jawed Karim at the San Diego zoo, with it having been online since the 23rd of April 2005: