When Was YouTube Created and Why

One of the popular and important platforms today is YouTube. It is very possible that you have used it today, and if not, at least this week. But do you know when YouTube was created and why? This is what I would like you and I to chat about today.

YouTube is one of the largest and most popular video distribution platforms on the Internet. It is the second-largest search engine, only after Google which actually bought YouTube.

It has more than 4 billion hours worth of video viewers every month, and an estimated 500 hours of video content are uploaded to YouTube every passing minute.

Since its origins in 2005, YouTube has transformed itself from a showcase for amateur videos to one that distributes original content.

It has also enabled the creation of an entirely new profession — YouTube content creator, which can be a very profitable career for some YouTubers around the world.

The power of video content in business and in personal life is very huge. You can use a video to tell a story and share emotions.

As a visual platform, YouTube allows you to see and follow what is going on in the content you are watching.

It is a phenomenon that marketers have used and are using to reach customers across the world.

Internet has opened doors and continues to open doors to opportunities that did not exist a few decades ago.

When was YouTube Created?

2005 was the year YouTube was created.

YouTube was created on the 14th February, 2005 when the domain name www.youtube.com was activated at San Mateo, California in the United States of America.

It was founded by Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim. The three were former employees of the American e-commerce company PayPal.

YouTube is an online video-sharing service platform. The website or platform allows users to upload, share and view content.

The idea by the founders was very basic; that ordinary people would enjoy sharing their “home videos.”

YouTube is an American online video-sharing platform headquartered in San Bruno, California.

Google bought the site in November 2006 for US$1.65 billion. This means that YouTube now operates as one of Google’s subsidiaries.

How YouTube was created

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 Karim at the San Diego Zoo.

The video was uploaded on April 23, 2005, and you can still view it on the site.

YouTube platform was created by three PayPal employees as a video-sharing website where users could upload, share and view content.

YouTube was sold one year after its creation, for 1.65 billion dollars. It is hard to believe it has been so long since the first video was uploaded.

When was YouTube Created – YouTube Founders

As mentioned above, YouTube was created on 14th February, 2005 in San Mateo, California by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim.

The three founders knew each other from working together at another Internet start up, PayPal.

The trio started working on an idea for a website for users to upload video-dating profiles. They worked out of Hurley’s garage in Menlo Park, California.

The very first YouTube video was uploaded on April 23rd, 2005 at 3:27:12 UTC by the site’s co-founder, Jawed Karim, with username “jawed,” entitled “Me at the zoo.”

Now with over 23 million channels, 5 billion videos are watched per day. This has become quite the resource for anyone trying to learn anything or looking for entertainment.

In its 15-year history, YouTube has become the undisputed king of online video.

It has over 2 billion monthly users who watch hundreds of hundreds of millions of hours of content every single day. But many people don’t know how YouTube got its start.

The company rose like a rocket ship after its founding in 2005, and was bought by Google 18 months later. Under Google, YouTube went from being a repository of amateur video to a powerhouse of original content, not to mention a launching pad for its own new brand of superstars.

Who Founded YouTube?

As previously mentioned, YouTube was founded by:

  1. Chad Hurley
  2. Steve Chen
  3. Jawed Karim

All three were working for Paypal at the time of YouTube’s founding in 2005.

Chad Hurley studied design at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania prior to joining Ebay’s PayPal division after graduating in 1999. At Paypal, he primarily focused on the user experience (UX) of their interface.

Steven Shih Chen was born in 1978 in Taipei, Taiwan. His family emigrated to the U.S. when he was eight years old. Steve left the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy prior to graduating.

He later attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he graduated in 2002 with a degree in computer science. He would later join Paypal.

Jawed Karim was born in 1979 in Merseburg, East Germany. His mother was German.

Jawed would later study computer science at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, but left prior to graduating.

After dropping out, Jawed would become an early employee of the fledgling Paypal. While at Paypal, he continued his coursework and eventually graduated with a degree in computer science, and went on to earn a master’s degree in computer science from Stanford University.

What was the original purpose of YouTube?

YouTube was originally created as a platform for anyone to post any video content they desired. It was hoped that users could use the site to upload, share, and view content without restriction.

It has since grown to become one of the foremost video distribution sites in the world. Today, many content creators make a decent living by selling ad space before or on videos they create and upload onto the site.

Thanks to things like YouTube’s Partner Program and Google’s AdSense, a few people can actually create successful careers as YouTubers.

YouTube was founded on Valentine’s Day in 2005. It was the brainchild of Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim, who were all former employees of Paypal.

The platform, like so many others in Silicon Valley, began as an angel-funded enterprise with makeshift offices in a garage.

Dinner Party Gives Birth to YouTube

According to its founders, the idea was born at a dinner party in San Fransisco, about a year earlier, in 2004. The trio was frustrated by how hard it was, at the time, to find and share video clips online.

“Video, we felt, really wasn’t being addressed on the Internet,” said Chad Hurley in an early interview. “People were collecting video clips on their cell phones … but there was no easy way to share [them].”

In May of 2005, the beta version of YouTube was up on the net, and within a month, the very first video was posted. It was titled, “Me at the Zoo,” and was a 19-second long clip posted by Karim himself. The video featured footage of Karim at the San Diego Zoo, talking about elephants and their trunks.

By September of 2005, YouTube had managed to get its first video with one million views. This was a Nike ad that went and gone viral.

This first YouTube viral video was a clip of Brazilian soccer player Ronaldinho receiving a pair of Golden Boots. Nike was also one of the first major companies to embrace YouTube’s promotional potential.

The following month, in November of 2005, the venture capital firm Sequoia Capital invested an impressive $3.5 million in the business. Roelof Botha (who also formerly worked for Paypal) joined YouTube’s board of directors.

Sequoia and Artis Capital Management invested an additional $8 million, in 2006, as the website saw significant growth in its first few months.

How was YouTube created?

Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim met at Paypal.

The concept of YouTube was inspired, according to Jawed Karim, by videos of Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction at the Super Bowl, and the devastating tsunami in the Indian Ocean.

“As a capital-funded startup, the idea for YouTube received an $11.5 million investment from Sequoia Capital in 2005. In February, the domain name was registered in the headquarters above a pizzeria in California. In April, the first-ever video was uploaded by Karim named “Me at the Zoo”. After a Beta testing period, the site launched in December 2005, and a Nike commercial became the first video to receive one million views,” according to Engadget.

By February of 2004, YouTube’s now-famous logo (since changed as of 2017) was registered as a trademark, and the website domain name was also purchased.

The original idea for YouTube was for users to be able to upload videos, introducing themselves, and saying what they were interested in. This didn’t really take off, and the co-founders soon pivoted to a more general video sharing site.

Since then, YouTube has grown exponentially. Here are some of the major milestones in the company’s history (courtesy, in part, of inverse.com):

How did YouTube get its name?

Unlike a lot of other company names, YouTube’s name is actually quite self-explanatory.

“The name “YouTube” is actually pretty straightforward. The “You” represents that the content is user-generated, created by individual users and not the site itself, and “Tube” is a nod toward an older original term for television.

Soon after YouTube’s URL was registered, it came under immediate attack by another company called Universal Tube & Rollform Equipment. Their website address just happened to be very similar —www.utube.com. They filed a lawsuit against YouTube, which appears to have been unsuccessful. Today that company’s URL is www.utubeonline.com.

Since its early days in 2005, YouTube has grown to become a behemoth of the Internet. It is now present in more than 75 countries and available in 61 languages, with hundreds of hours of video content uploaded every minute!

Today, the site has more than one billion users and has become the de facto video sharing platform on the Internet.

How does YouTube make money?

Like any business, YouTube needs to make money somehow. But, how exactly does YouTube do it?

Let’s take a quick look.

Before being purchased by Google, YouTube had declared a monthly income of somewhere in the region of $15 million.

Despite this, when Google acquired the site back in 2006, it was a long way from actually being a profitable business. But profitability wasn’t the main reason that Google snapped them up.

Google saw the potential for the platform as an online video service. They surmised that by combining YouTube’s platform with Google’s enormous internet traffic, it would only be a matter of time before the investment paid off.

Google Adds More Services

Google eventually added their Google ads service to video content on the platform in a bid to bring in some much-needed revenue from the site. And it certainly worked.

By June 2008, Forbes magazine reported that YouTube was making somewhere in the region of $200 million annually, mainly owing to progress in advertising sales.

Through years of refinement, Google began to embed targeted advertising directly into the video clips that its users watched, as well as promoting featured content. This was later replaced by running paid ads before a video began playing.

The company has also recently added the “two-ads” feature, which shows two ads at once, to beef up potential revenue from the content.

But this is not the only revenue source for the platform. YouTube also pulls in money through its subscriber-based model — now called YouTube Premium (previously YouTube Red), Music Premium service, and paid TV service.

This service offers users exclusive benefits, like removing ads, and charges subscribers a regular subscription fee.

As of 2017, Alphabet no longer breaks down revenue by platform, so it is unclear exactly how much money YouTube brings in. However, as of 2019, YouTube is believed to have generated around $15 billion for Alphabet — that is about 10% of all of its annual revenue for the year.

Not too shabby.

YouTube Revenues and Expenses

But revenue is rarely without overheads. YouTube’s running costs are thought to be significant, believed by some to be as much as $5 or $6 million a month.

The bulk of this cost is from providing sufficient network bandwidth for its millions of users, as well as a host of other costs related to running such a large company.

For the quarter ending December 2019, Alphabet as a whole reported making $46 billion in revenue. Of that, somewhere in the region of $10.7 billion was profit.

The bulk of this was reaped from Google’s main search business, YouTube ad revenue, and income from its Google Cloud service.

As you can see, YouTube has come a long way since its inception back in 2005. As social media begins to see losses from companies pulling their ad campaigns in response to hate content, as well as actions such as the indiscriminate demonetization of some channels, and the banning of certain controversial content creators for promoting hate speech, as well as the rise of Chinese live-streaming platforms, YouTube’s future is anyone’s guess.

However, given YouTube’s size, dominance, and market penetration, it is unlikely to fade away any time soon. But only time will tell.

YouTube Ad Revenue in 2020

In February 2020, Google released the ad revenues from the YouTube platform. It was the first time since company acquired the video-sharing platform 14 years ago.

YouTube generated $14 billion in 2019 which represents 9% of the parent company Alphabet’s total ad revenue.

Who was the first YouTuber?

The first YouTuber was Jawed Karim who was also a founder of YouTube. Jawed Karim posted the first-ever video to YouTube. The 18-second video, entitled “Me at the zoo,” features Karim, a YouTube co-founder, at the San Diego Zoo standing in front of a bunch of elephants.

The Beginning of Success

By 2006, YouTube was already a veritable phenomenon and one of the fastest-growing sites on the internet. During the first semester alone, the platform went from 4.9 million to 19.6 million users, a growth of almost 300%!

To give you a better idea of the growth of this speed, in July 2006 alone, YouTube increased its global internet traffic share by 75%. 65,000 videos were posted during that month, generating millions of views.

At the time, the average profile of an internet user accessing YouTube consisted mostly of male teenagers. Even with such a restricted audience, the site was responsible for 65% of the audiovisual content market on the internet and was beginning to show its full potential as a marketing and business platform.

The Google era

But even with all this success, YouTube was facing a serious problem: the site had no source of income. And to make matters worse, it became involved in several lawsuits for copyright infringement.

Without any physical and monetary infrastructure to deal with obstacles of this size and global reach, it was looking like the history of YouTube would have a tragic ending and bankruptcy would be inevitable.

Fortunately, the brand’s rapid rise and its financial difficulties attracted the attention of Google, one of its main competitors. At the time, the company was concentrating its efforts on Google Videos, a service that was later discontinued.

It was then that, in October 2006, Google acquired YouTube for US$ 1.65 billion.

The transaction proved to be a great deal. YouTube is currently worth over US$ 100 billion. Approximately 20% of Alphabet, the world’s largest company and the controller of Google and all of its services.

The billion-dollar purchase was a milestone in the history of YouTube, Google, online videos, and the internet as a whole.

The Consolidation of the YouTube Brand

After being acquired by the search engine giant, YouTube became an indispensable tool for those who watch online videos. And numbers don’t lie. According to Google data, 99% of internet users who watch videos online, access YouTube.

From this moment on, the platform started to develop solutions to make money and also allow content creators to make money also.

One of them is Content ID, a tool that analyzes content posted on the platform searching excerpts of audiovisual works that are copyright protected.

YouTube also launched the Partnership Program, which allows YouTubers to use their own content to generate revenue. This makes it possible to earn money with ads on the videos.

After that, the site became one of the best marketing tools for video content. Many companies invest part of their budgets to advertise on the platform and increase their brand reach and visibility.

The possibility of earning money with online videos attracted a growing number of content creators and consequently, users interested in consuming online videos. YouTube just kept growing!


In conclusion, YouTube remains a powerful search engine. It is now the second largest search engine, after Google.

This provides you with a huge opportunity to create an online business, based on a content marketing. For example, you can start a blog and using a YouTube videos be able to build a business that will transform your life.

I hope that your question of when was YouTube created and why has been well answered with this resource. That you now fully understand the story of Google and YouTube.

If you would like to start a content-marketing based business, click here to learn more.