YouTube is the world's largest video-sharing social networking site that enables users to upload and share videos, view them, comment on them and like them.

This social network is accessible across the globe and even enables users to create a YouTube channel where they can upload all their personally recorded videos to showcase to their friends and followers.

Quick Facts


  • Ranked #2nd worldwide
  • Active users 2.3 b
  • Type Media Sharing Networks
  • Launched date Feb 14, 2005
  • Employees 96,789
  • Headquarters 901 Cherry Avenue, San Bruno, California, U.S.
  • Parent company Google (2006 - present)


Chad Hurley Pennsylvania
Steve Chen
Jawed Karim


  • Brand value In 2020 $37.9 b
  • Revenue in 2020 $19.8 b
  • Net loss In 2020 N/A

Data Graphs


Merger and Acquisition

Merger and AcquisitionThe YouTube section of the Google headquarters complex. (via

On Oct 9, 2006, Google announced that it had acquired YouTube for $1.65B in Google stock. The deal was finalized on Nov 13, 2006. At that time it was Google's second-largest acquisition.

YouTube had about 65 employees. Following the acquisition, YouTube will operate independently to preserve its successful brand and passionate community.

YouTube’s other co-founder Steve Chen stake was worth $301M at the time of the sale, and Jawed Karim walked away with $66M. Even YouTube interface designer Christina Brodbeck received Google shares worth $9.09M.

In Oct 2006, YouTube moved to a new office in San Bruno, California. Hurley announced that he would be stepping down as CEO of YouTube to take an advisory role and that Salar Kamangar would take over as head of the company in Oct 2010.

The Attack

The AttackYouTube headquarters shooting. (via

On Apr 3, 2018, at 12:46 p.m., a shooting occurred at the YouTube Headquarters in San Bruno, California.

The shooter was identified as 39-year-old Nasim Najafi Aghdam, a female of Iranian descent, who entered through an exterior parking garage, approached an outdoor patio, and opened fire with a Smith & Wesson 9 mm semi-automatic pistol. Aghdam wounded three people, one of them critically, before killing herself.

Police believe Nasim Najafi Aghdam was motivated by perceived “discrimination” by YouTube for filtering and demonetizing her videos.

Nasim routinely posted bizarre content on YouTube and other social media channels including Facebook, Instagram, and Telegram, consisting of her beliefs and ideas regarding animal rights and veganism and her discontent for YouTube.

On Mar 31, 2018, Aghdam's family reported to the police that Nasim Aghdam was missing. The morning before the shooting, police officers found Aghdam sleeping in her car in a Walmart parking lot in Mountain View, 25 miles (40 km) south of YouTube's headquarters.

The officers did not identify her as a threat, and it is unclear whether these police officers were aware of the concerns of Aghdam's father. Aghdam visited a shooting range the day before the shooting.

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki wrote on Twitter: "There are no words to describe how horrible it was to have an active shooter @YouTube today. Our deepest gratitude to law enforcement & first responders for their rapid response. Our hearts go out to all those injured & impacted today. We will come together to heal as a family."

Original Idea

original ideaoriginal idea

YouTube was founded on Feb 4, 2005, by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, Jawed Karim, when they worked for PayPal. Hurley had studied design at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and Chen and Karim

The original idea for YouTube was a video version of an online dating service, and had been influenced by the website "hot or not", but the idea didn't take off and the co-founders soon pivoted YouTube to become a more general video sharing site.

Karim said the inspiration for YouTube first came from Janet Jackson's role in the 2004 Super Bowl incident, and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. However, Chen and Hurley say they thought of the idea of YouTube as a place to upload videos they had taken at a dinner party in San Francisco.

Jawed Karim uploaded the first video "Me at the zoo" at the San Diego Zoo. After a Beta testing period, the site launched in Dec 2005, and a Nike ad featuring Ronaldinho became the first video to receive one million views.

Brief History


The idea was born at a dinner party in San Francisco.

Feb Chad Hurley registered the trademark, logo, and domain of YouTube.
Apr The first video was uploaded to the site.
May YouTube Beta launched.
Nov YouTube secured $3.5M of funding from Sequoia Capital.
Dec YouTube officially became a corporation.

8M views a day.

The first office was located above a pizzeria and Japanese restaurant in San Mateo, California.

Jan Launched a Groups feature.
Apr Launched Directors function.
Jun YouTube entered into a marketing and advertising partnership with NBC.
Jul 100M video views per day; 20M visitors per month.
Aug YouTube launched its first advertising concepts - Participatory Video Ads (PVA) and Brand Channels.
Oct Google acquired YouTube for $1.65B in Google stock.
Mar YouTube Awards were formally announced via a press release.
Jun YouTube started to expand, launching in nine countries, including Brazil, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, and the UK.

YouTube Mobile was launched, and CNN/YouTube debated.

Dec YouTube Partner Program (YPP) launched.
Jan 10 hours of video were uploaded every minute.
Mar The YouTube Insight analytics tool launched.
Jun YouTube launched the Screening Room; Interactive Annotations.
Nov MGM announced that it will release full-length films on YouTube.
Dec 720p HD support was added.

YouTube was awarded Peabody Award: Award to the Google independent subsidiary.

Jan The 111th U.S. Congress launched its official Congressional YouTube channels.
Mar Disney signs a partnership deal with YouTube.

A dispute between YouTube and the British royalty collection agency PRS for Music.

Aug Individual Video Partnerships launched.
Oct 1B video views per day.
Nov 1080p HD support was added.
Dec Video Targeting launched.
Jan YouTube Rentals launched.
Mar YouTube mobile ads launched.

The YouTube website launched a brand-new design ​in its interface and appearance.

YouTube released the first online free broadcast, including 60 matches of the Indian Cricket Premier League.

24 hours of video uploaded every minute.

May 2B video views per day.
Oct Chad Hurley stepped down as the CEO of YouTube to take an advisory role, with Salar Kamangar taking over as the head of the company.
Nov Launched a version of "Shows" available to UK viewers, offering around 4,000 full-length shows from more than 60 partners.
Apr Launched YouTube Live.
Nov The Google+ social networking site was integrated directly with YouTube and the Chrome web browser.
Dec Launched a new version of the site interface.
Jan IYouTube launched over 100 "premium" or "original" channels.

4B videos streamed per day.

Oct The YouTube slogan (Broadcast Yourself) was taken down due to the live stream of the U.S. presidential debate.
Nov YouTube relaunched its design and layout.
Dec South Korean rapper Psy’s “Gangnam Style” became the first video to reach 1B views.
Mar 1B users.
Sep YouTube Comedy Week and the YouTube Music Awards launched.
Feb Susan Wojcicki was appointed CEO of YouTube.
Mar Turkey banned youtube for the second time.
Nov YouTube announced a subscription service known as “Music Key”.
Feb YouTube Kids released as an Android and iOS mobile app.
Mar Launched 360 video.
Jun YouTube support for 8K resolution was added, with the videos playing at 7680×4320 pixels.
Aug Launched YouTube Gaming.
Oct Launched YouTube Red.

The YouTube Music app was unveiled.

Jan YouTube expanded its headquarters in San Bruno by purchasing an office park for $215M.
Apr YouTube started using Google AdSense.
Nov YouTube support for HDR video was added.
Feb 1B hours of YouTube were watched every day and 400 hours of video were uploaded every minute.
Oct YouTube was blocked from Mainland China.
Aug YouTube changed its logo for the first time in 12 years.
Jan YouTube became a registration agency for the International Standard Name Identifier (ISNI) initiative.
Apr 12:46 p.m. a shooting took place at YouTube headquarters.
May YouTube Red rebranded as YouTube Premium.

YouTube Gaming app will retire.

Jan YouTube had begun rolling out videos in AV1 format.
May 500 hours of video content are uploaded every minute.
Nov Its Creator Studio versions have been phased out.

YouTube had made US$15.1B in ad revenue.


YouTube made a $19.8B profit.

May YouTube introduced Video Chapters.
Sep YouTube announced the launch of a new short-form video experience it’s calling YouTube Shorts.

Network Features

YouTube Creator Awards: (commonly known as YouTube Play Buttons) are a series of awards from YouTube that aim to recognize its most popular channels. They are based on a channel's subscriber count but are offered at the sole discretion of YouTube.

When a verified YouTube channel reaches a specific milestone and is deemed eligible for a YouTube Creator Reward, they are awarded a relatively flat trophy in a metal casing with a YouTube play button symbol.

The Creator Award Milestones: Silver: 100,000 Subscribers Gold: 1 million Subscribers Diamond: 10 million Subscribers Red Diamond: 100 million Subscribers.

Creator AwardsYouTube Creator Awards. (via

YouTube has also handed out custom awards for channels that have surpassed 50 million subscribers.

The Features


HomepageYoutube homepage. (via

Home is what viewers see first when they open the YouTube app or visit

When a viewer visits home, YouTube displays videos from their subscriptions, videos watched by similar viewers, new videos, and more.


ExploreYoutube Explore in Mobile. (via

Explore will recommend videos based on what viewers are already watching, but with a “broader scope” than its home screen already does.

Youtube trendingYoutube trending. (via

Trending is a single list of what videos are new and popular on YouTube in a viewer’s country. This list considers view count (especially the rate of growth in views), where views are coming from, and many other signals. The list of trending videos is updated roughly every 15 minutes.

You can find your History, Watch Later, Playlists, and other channel details on your Library page.

The Subscriptions tab is an area of the site that shows a collection of videos from channels a viewer is subscribed to. This feed includes highlighted videos and a list of all the most recent uploads.

Subscribers are viewers who have opted in to see more of your videos, and they watch them from all areas of the site. They’re your core audience and biggest fans, who often provide important initial signals about new videos you release.

Notifications are alerts sent when a new video is made public. Subscribers receive notifications for all channels, for every upload or live stream.

YouTube Stories: Reels will allow creators to link YouTube videos and use YouTube-y stickers, filters, text, and music in short, up to 30 seconds, videos. The idea behind Reels is to give creators another format to express themselves and engage with their public without having to post a full video.

Restricted Mode is an additional setting on YouTube, which if enabled, restricts the availability of potentially mature or objectionable content.

A VR video (Virtual Reality video) is immersive video content that creates the illusion of the viewer being in the video itself. Watching VR can make you feel present in the action of the scene because you must cover your entire field of vision with a viewing device like a headset, or head-mounted display (HMD).

When you look into a head-mounted display, the screen is split, so that each eye sees a slightly different perspective, just as in real life.

VR180 video is a new video format that focuses on what’s in front of the camera while delivering a 3D effect in a VR headset. Your audience can look around just enough to be immersed, but not need to rotate in all directions.

360-degree video (360) surrounds the viewer with a complete sphere of video. It is an ideal format for taking your audience to new places and experiences where they can look around in all directions.

To watch a 360-degree video on YouTube, a headset is not required - all you need is a mobile device or desktop computer. Instead of putting on a headset, you can explore the video in all directions with a few simple gestures. Both 360 and VR are shot using cameras that record in all 360 degrees.

Video Chapters: he feature uses timestamps that creators apply to their videos, allowing viewers to easily jump forward to a specific section of the video or rewatch a portion of the video.

The first timestamp has to be marked 0:00, followed by space, then the chapter’s title. The minimum length for video chapters is 10 seconds.

End screens are a powerful tool that can help extend watch time on your channel by directing viewers to something next at the end of your videos. You can add them to the last 5-20 seconds of a video. You can use them to promote other videos, encourage viewers to subscribe.

The captions button (CC) can be understood simply by a narration of the script, including any sound effects or music playing within the video. Captions are of two types - closed and open captions.

Unlike subtitles, CC is designed to help hard of hearing and deaf viewers understand/relate to the video they are watching. YouTube employs its speech recognition technology for automatic captioning.

Digital Wellbeing (Bedtime reminders): The users can set a limit to their streaming time so they don’t end up hooked onto the screen at night. The new feature joins YouTube’s wellness and screen time tools together with its existing “take a break” reminders.

YouTube Thumbnails are the small preview images used to represent videos. Thumbnails are to attract people’s attention and convince them to watch the video. Your thumbnail image should be 1280 x 720 pixels, with a minimum width of 640 pixels. An aspect ratio of 16:9 is ideal as it’s used most often in YouTube players and previews.

The Service

YouTube Premium (formerly known as YouTube Red): is the site's paid subscription service. It offers ad-free viewing of all videos, offline playback, and exclusive, paywalled content primarily made by famous YouTube personalities.

YouTube Music is a music streaming service developed by YouTube, a subsidiary of Google. It provides a tailored interface for the service-oriented towards music streaming, allowing users to browse through songs and music videos on YouTube based on genres, playlists, and recommendations.

The service superseded Google Play Music as Google's main brand for music streaming on Dec 1, 2020.

YouTube Gaming is the official app from YouTube that lets you broadcast your videos live, and stream other people's videos. You can also watch any YouTube video related to the video game world.

A video gaming-oriented vertical and app for videos and live streaming, intended to compete with the Twitch. YouTube Gaming was originally launched in 2015 as both a website and an app for Android and iOS. YouTube Gaming app retired on May 30, 2019.

YouTube Kids: The app provides a version of the service-oriented towards children, with curated selections of content, parental control features, and filtering of videos deemed inappropriate viewing for children aged under 13, 8, or 5 depending on the age grouping chosen.

YouTube Live is an easy way for Creators to reach their community in real-time. Creators can live stream on YouTube via webcam, mobile, and encoder streaming.

YouTube Go: is a free, official app from Google that's designed for mobile devices, in particular those that are on mobile networks. The app is designed for users who live in areas with poor internet connectivity and are concerned with their data usage.

Google initially targeted the app for countries with well-known data and connection issues such as India.

YouTube Originals is a channel that provides users with original YouTube series, movies, and events, launched in 2016. Movies, and episodes offered on YouTube Originals may vary by country or region.

YouTube has confirmed that as of Sep 24, 2019, the YouTube Originals experience will be completely free, but there will be a difference depending on whether you sign up for a YouTube Premium membership.

YouTube Studio is the place where you manage your YouTube channel. It provides you with all the functions and information you need to manage your channel in one place.

YouTube TV is a subscription streaming service that lets you watch live TV from major broadcast and popular cable networks. Enjoy local and national live sports, breaking news, and must-see shows the moment they air.

YouTube VR is a standalone app built from the ground up and optimized for VR. All videos provide an immersive VR experience, whether it's 360-degree video or a standard video shown in a cinema-style mode.

Fashion & Beauty or “slash fashion” for short: Users who go looking for original Fashion and Beauty content on YouTube will be able to find videos from various fashion and beauty creators, industry professionals, publishers, and luxury fashion brands.


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