YouTube is the world’s favorite video platform, but there’s a lot you probably don’t know about the site. With that in mind, here are some amazingly interesting YouTube facts for you to check out.
1. YouTube Began on Valentine’s Day
The YouTube.com domain was bought on Valentine’s Day, 2005. The first video was posted by co-founder Jawed Karim a little over two months later.
2. PayPal Funded YouTube’s Launch
The three YouTube founders—Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim—all worked for PayPal. They used their money from eBay’s buyout of PayPal to fund the site’s early development.
2. Google Owns YouTube
Google acquired YouTube for $1.65 billion in October 2006. Which was a lot of money at the time, but looks like a pittance now considering the value of YouTube.
3. Ads Appeared in 2007
Google is the largest ad company in the world, and it didn’t take long for it to start monetizing YouTube. The service’s first ad was broadcast in August 2007, just nine months after Google bought the site.
4. There Are Localized Versions of YouTube
In June 2007, YouTube started rolling out localized versions of its site. People in different places would get different recommendations and features, as well as a localized top-level domain (for example, .com, .co.uk, .fr, etc.).
The first 10 countries to get their own YouTube site were the U.S., U.K., Brazil, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, and Spain.
5. There Are 98 Versions of YouTube
Fast-forward to today, and the localization program has expanded dramatically. More than 98 countries now have their own version. The most recent went live in January 2019. They were Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, and Uruguay.
6. YouTube Has Been Censored Around the World
YouTube’s mission to get into households on every corner of the planet has not always been plain sailing. At various times, more than 25 countries have blocked access. All the usual suspects are there, as well as some surprises such as Germany, Finland, and Brazil.
7. YouTube Is Worth Billions
Today, YouTube’s annual revenue hovers around $15 billion. This has led Wall Street analysts to give the brand a value of more than $100 billion.
8. Americans Are Addicted to YouTube
In any given month, 80 percent of North American adults aged between 18 and 49 watch at least one video on YouTube.
9. YouTube Has More Reach Than Cable TV
In the United States, YouTube reaches more 18 to 49-year-olds than any broadcast or cable TV network.
10. YouTube Is Growing in Popularity
YouTube’s assault on traditional forms of television shows no signs of abating. The most recent data available shows that the time spent on YouTube has been enjoying double-digit percentage growth. At the same time, time spent watching TV is seeing a double-digit decline.
11. Ronaldinho Was First to 1 Million Views
For many soccer fans, Brazilian forward Ronaldinho is one of the greatest players to have ever played the game.
Thanks to his worldwide popularity, his tricks video (produced by Nike) was the first video to hit one million views in October 2005.
12. Avril Lavigne Was First to 100 Million Views
Avril Lavigne’s chart-topping hit Girlfriend was the first song to break 100 million views after its release in 2008. There was some controversy around how the video amassed its views, with Lavigne’s PR company accused of gaming the system.
13. Gangnam Style Was First to 1 Billion Views
The first video to smash through the 1 billion barrier was PSY’s global megahit, Gangnam Style. The South Korean artist achieved superstardom on the back of its success, with the U.N. calling the singer a “force for world peace.” A bit of an exaggeration, we’re sure you’ll agree.
14. Spanish Language YouTube Is Growing
The first Spanish-language video on YouTube to amass more than 1 billion views was Enrique Iglesias’ reggaeton song, Bailando.
15. The Most Popular Non-Music Video Is in Russian
The only non-music video in the most watched YouTube videos of all time is a Russian-language version of an episode of kids’ TV show, Masha and The Bear. It has been watched 3.4 billion times and counting.
16. 17 Videos Have Held the Number One Crown
In total, 17 different videos have held the record for being the most watched video on YouTube. The current holder is Luis Fonsi’s hit, Despacito. It took the record off Wiz Khalifa’s See You Again when it hit 2.9 billion views.
17. Justin Bieber’s Baby Isn’t the Most Hated Video
For a long time, the most disliked video on YouTube was the Justin Bieber song, Baby. It had received more than 10 million “thumbs down” in the nine years it had been live.
However, in December 2018 the record was smashed in spectacular fashion by YouTube Rewind 2018. In its first month of availability, it racked up an incredible 15 million downvotes.
18. HD Videos Went Live in 2009
We couldn’t start watching YouTube in high definition until the feature’s global rollout in November 2009.
19. YouTube Boasts 57,000 Years of Video Footage
The average video length on YouTube is four minutes and 20 seconds, and there are approximately 7 billion videos on the website in total.
We did some math (!) and can confirm that it would take around 30 trillion minutes to watch them all. Or, to put it another way, 58,000 years.
20. People Have Short Attention Spans
It’s safe to assume that the majority of those 7 billion videos are not worth watching. And it turns out that we give short shrift to videos that don’t immediately grab our attention. More than 20 percent of videos are switched off within the first 10 seconds of playback.
21. We All Watch Too Much YouTube
One person probably couldn’t get through all 58,000 years of YouTube. However, collectively, we make a darned good effort. We watch four billion hours of video every month—that’s 456,621 years worth!
22. YouTube Search Is Bigger Than Bing
YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. It processes more queries than Bing and Yahoo combined.
Of course, it means Google also owns the world’s two most popular search engines. We’re not sure that level of centralization is a good thing.
23. A Decade of New Video Is Uploaded Every Day
YouTube sees 72 hours of newly uploaded video every minute. Over a 24-hour period, that’s more than a decade of new footage.
24. Tony Blair Is a YouTube Pioneer
Today, YouTube is well established as an essential way for politicians to get their message out to the public. That wasn’t always the case. In 2007, then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair became the first world leader to launch his own YouTube channel.
25. YouTube Isn’t the Number One Website
Despite all of these amazing statistics, YouTube is still only the second most visited site in the world (behind Google.com).
According to Alexa.com, Facebook, Baidu, and Wikipedia round out the rest of the top five.
YouTube’s Phenomenon Facts and Figures
So there you have it; that’s our list of the most interesting YouTube facts. The statistics are truly mind blowing, especially when YouTube didn’t even exist until relatively recently.
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