Over the last ten years YouTube has become increasingly ingrained in our lives, creating its own celebrities that have following bigger than most popstars, and defining online video.
When Google bought YouTube for $.165 billion in 2006, many thought that the search giant had paid over the odd for the service that had not turned a profit.
However, then came the iPhone and the mobile revolution, where suddenly everyone had a camera in their pocket at all times, ready to shoot videos of their friends, activities, and anything that happens around them.
Bandwidth improved just as the quality of digital camera improved and shrunk down to fit into svelte smartphones, and YouTube was there, ready and waiting to host all these videos so people could share them not just with their local friends, but also those living halfway across the world.
Where once 144P was the common video resolution, now YouTube streams 1080P and even 4K to computers, mobiles, tablets, and connected Tvs around the globe and has remained the top player as streaming video has slowly wrestled control from both broadcast and DVD sales.
Being able to watch what you want, when you want, and where you want has made YouTube into one of the web;s most recognisable brands. And what should you watch to celebrate it turning ten years old? The first video ever uploaded to the service by co-founder Jawed Karim, with the username “jawed”.
Photograph by Rego Korosi