What is YOUTUBE?
YOUTUBE is an American online video-sharing platform headquartered in San Bruno, California. Three former PayPal employees—Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Kareem—created the service in February 2005. Google bought the site in November 2006 for US$1.65 billion; YouTube now operates as one of Google’s subsidiaries.
YouTube allows users to upload, view, rate, share, add to playlists, report, comment on videos, and subscribe to other users. It offers a wide variety of user-generated and corporate media videos. Available content includes video clips, TV show clips, music videos, short and documentary films, audio recordings, movie trailers, live streams, and other content such as video blogging, short original videos, and educational videos. Most content on YouTube is uploaded by individuals, but media corporations including CBS, the BBC, Vevo, and Hulu offer some of their material via YouTube as part of the YouTube partnership program. Unregistered users can only watch (but not upload) videos on the site, while registered users are also permitted to upload an unlimited number of videos and add comments to videos. Videos that are age-restricted are available only to registered users affirming themselves to be at least 18 years old.
YouTube and selected creators earn advertising revenue from Google AdSense, a program which targets ads according to site content and audience. The vast majority of its videos are free to view, but there are exceptions, including subscription-based premium channels, film rentals, as well as YouTube Music and YouTube Premium, subscription services respectively offering premium and ad-free music streaming, and ad-free access to all content, including exclusive content commissioned from notable personalities. As of February 2017, there were more than 400 hours of content uploaded to YouTube each minute, and one billion hours of content being watched on YouTube every day. As of August 2018, the website is ranked as the second-most popular site in the world, according to Alexa Internet, just behind Google. As of May 2019, more than 500 hours of video content are uploaded to YouTube every minute. Based on reported quarterly advertising revenue, YouTube is estimated to have US$15 billion in annual revenues.
YouTube has faced criticism over aspects of its operations, including its handling of copyrighted content contained within uploaded videos, its recommendation algorithms perpetuating videos that promote conspiracy theories and falsehoods, hosting videos ostensibly targeting children but containing violent or sexually suggestive content involving popular characters, videos of minors attracting pedophilic activities in their comment sections, and fluctuating policies on the types of content that is eligible to be monetized with advertising.
Founding and initial growth (2005–2006)
YouTube was founded by Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Kareem, who were all early employees of PayPal. Hurley had studied design at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and Chen and Kareem studied computer science together at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.
Kareem said the inspiration for YouTube first came from Janet Jackson‘s role in the 2004 Super Bowl incident when her breast was exposed during her performance, and later from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Kareem could not easily find video clips of either event online, which led to the idea of a video sharing site. Hurley and Chen said that the original idea for YouTube was a video version of an online dating service, and had been influenced by the website Hot or Not. They created posts on Craigstlist asking attractive females to upload videos of themselves to YouTube in exchange of an $100 reward. Difficulty in finding enough dating videos led to a change of plans, with the site’s founders deciding to accept uploads of any type of video.
YouTube began as a venture capital–funded technology startup, primarily from an $11.5 million investment by Sequoia Capital and an $8 million investment from Artis Capital Management between November 2005 and April 2006. YouTube’s early headquarters were situated above a pizzeria and Japanese restaurant in San Mateo, California.The domain name www.youtube.com was activated on February 14, 2005, and the website was developed over the subsequent months. The first YouTube video, titled Me at the zoo, shows co-founder Jawed Kareem at the San Diego Zoo. The video was uploaded on April 23, 2005, and can still be viewed on the site.] YouTube offered the public a beta test of the site in May 2005. The first video to reach one million views was a Nike advertisement featuring Ronaldinho in November 2005. Following a $3.5 million investment from Sequoia Capital in November, the site launched officially on December 15, 2005, by which time the site was receiving 8 million views a day.
Advantages of YouTube
1. FREE TO USE
Uploading and watching videos on YouTube is completely free. This gives you the opportunity to experiment and find out whether it works for you or not without worrying about the costs.
However, recently, YouTube has introduced YouTube Premium. YouTube Premium is a paid subscription that allows you to watch videos without ads, play videos in the background, and allows you to play videos when you’re offline. This also gives you access to YouTube Music Premium (this is a streaming platform) and allows you to watch YouTube original series and movies.
Whether you have a YouTube Premium or a free account, this doesn’t affect the way you can upload videos onto your account.
2. GIVES YOU THE OPPORTUNITY TO EARN MONEY THROUGH YOUR VIDEOS
With YouTube, you can earn money for your views. To earn money through your videos, you will have to have a Google Ad Sense account. Don’t have a Google Ad Sense account? You are able to create a new Google Ad Sense account with your YouTube channel.
Aside through Google Ad Sense, there are different ways you can earn money through YouTube. This can be done through:
- Affiliate Links
- Merch and Products
- Selling Digital Products
- Offer Services
- and much more
3. EASY TO USE
YouTube is easy to use for everyone, even if you don’t have any computer skills. Still, don’t know how to use this social media platform? Don’t worry; there are many tutorials out there to show you how to upload a video and much more.
4. AN EASY WAY TO SHARE INFORMATION
With YouTube, you can share a good amount of information to a lot of people in a short time. You can also share information in an entertaining way. This can be in the form of:
- Comedy Sketch
- Video Animation
5. BACK-LINKS ARE GENERATED
YouTube can help boost your S.E.O. by creating back-links. These back-links can be created when adding your website link onto your profile page and/or within the descriptions of each video you post on your channel. By having your website link see throughout different areas of your channel, this will get the word out about your website, which will, therefore, increase the traffic to it.
1. EVERYTHING IS PUBLIC
YouTube is a public social media platform. This means people don’t need to create an account to see any of your videos you publish on your channels. Also, anyone can post a video. This can cause copyright issues, and there could be issues with privacy invasion.
2. MANY RULES
Like any other social media platform, YouTube has many rules which restrict what you can do within your channel. This can be through terms of optimization, what things you can post on your channel and how your channel looks.
3. YOUR ACCOUNT CAN BE DISABLED WITHOUT ANY REASON
If you are in breach of the rules YouTube has, your account can be disabled. This can occur if:
- The content you are publishing is in breach of the Terms of Service and Community Guidelines that you need to agree to create a YouTube Channel.
- You continue to act in predatory behavior towards other people. Examples of this behavior are harassment, sexual comments, and spam.
- Your videos are repeatedly reported for claims of copyright infringement.
Your account can be disabled when copying someone’s video idea, or when making a video which doesn’t comply with the terms and conditions. YouTube has the right to delete or disable your channel without any reason provided.
4. ANY ADVERTISER CAN PUT AN ADD ON YOUR VIDEO
This means that even your competitors can run an add on or near your video, which can hurt your brand.
There are many more advantages and disadvantages of YouTube, but these are the ones we think you should know about. It depends on your norms and values which advantage or disadvantage weighs the most for you. Of course, there is nothing wrong with trying out something new. Otherwise, you will never know whether it’s something for you!