The first video ever uploaded to YouTube recently celebrated its seventh anniversary. The video, called “Me at the zoo,” was uploaded by YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim at 8:27 pm on April 23rd, 2005. In the video, Karim stands in front of elephants at the San Diego Zoo and comments about their “really, really long trunks.” While the clip runs for only 19 seconds and the quality is terrible, it marks a crucial moment during the launch of a service that would to change the Internet forever.
Since the video’s debut, YouTube has seen enormous growth, amassing over 1 trillion views — equal to almost 140 views for every person on Earth. More than 4 billion videos are viewed each day, while 60 hours of video are uploaded every minute.
The site receives over 800 million unique visitors each month who watch over 3 billion hours of videos. More videos are uploaded to YouTube in one month than the three major television networks in the United States have created in 60 years. The site is even more popular overseas, with 70% of its visitors coming from outside the United States. YouTube is also localized in 39 countries and across 54 languages.
Without YouTube there would be no Justin Bieber, no Chocolate Rain and no Rebecca Black — although that may have been a good thing. The work of thousands of aspiring singers, songwriters, filmmakers and artists would have gone unnoticed however, as would thousands of videos of cute kids and cuter animals.
YouTube has not only changed the way the world consumes entertainment, but also how it consumes news and information. Jawed Karim’s video follows below.