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About YouTube

YouTube wasn’t always the home it is now for viral videos, music videos, and “let’s play” content. Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawad Karim started working on the idea behind YouTube in 2004. Originally, they thought the site should be a dating website to which users uploaded video profiles. By 2005, YouTube’s domain was trademarked and the website officially launched in beta form to a small group of users. The dating idea didn’t track, and users were posting videos of all sorts. The founders caught on and changed YouTube to be a free video-hosting platform. The first video to be uploaded to the new version of the site was called “Me at the Zoo.” Posted by Karim and clocking in at just 18 seconds, this video would be the first of many. The beta version of the free video-hosting site launched in May 2005, and by September, it landed a critical $3.5 million investment from Sequoia Capital. In December of 2005, YouTube left the beta phase and officially launched to the public. It quickly reached 8 million views a day. 

Google had attempted its own video platform around the same time YouTube launched, but couldn’t keep up with YouTube’s rapid success. The search engine opted to buy YouTube for $1.65 million in November 2006. Google still owns YouTube, but YouTube continues to run independently. Today, YouTube garners more than 2 billion monthly users and has launched a whole new world of media and entertainment. YouTube has not only changed the meaning of “going viral,” but been the point of origin for a whole new kind of media consumption. YouTubers have become the 21st century celebrity, and paved the way for other content creators to make it big on social media platforms.

YouTube began creating its own film and television content in 2017 with the launch of YouTube TV. It started its music streaming service, YouTube Music, in 2018. Overall, its origins as a video sharing platform are still its core offering, but its expansion into all things media has been nothing short of impressive. The company is led by CEO Susan Wojcicki, and is a leader in media and entertainment.


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Firm Stats

Employer Type: Subsidiary
Susan Wojcicki: CEO

Major Office Locations

San Bruno, CA

Affiliated Companies
Major Departments & Practices

Product and Design
Business and Operations
Trust and Safety