Ten years ago today in October 2006, Google acquired YouTube, a video streaming service website created only one year earlier, for $1.64 billion in Google stock. During its 11 years old presences on the internet, it’s been dominant since day one.
The original idea of YouTube was a video version of an online dating service and have been influenced by the website Hot or Not, mentioned by Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, two of the three founders. Jawed Karim, the 3rd founder, claimed that it was inspired by Janet Jackson’s role in the 2004 SuperBowl incident and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami where Karim couldn’t easily find any video clips of the event online.
Needless to say, the three ex-PayPal employees founded the site YouTube in February 2005 and began as a venture capital-funded technology startup, primarily from a $11.5 million investment by Sequoia Capital between November 2005 and April 2006.
The very first YouTube video titled Me at the Zoo shows co-founder Jawed Karim at the San Diego Zoo.
The video was only 29 seconds long and doesn’t have a lot of interesting content. But it’s still watched over 33 million times as of today. The first video that reaches 1 million views was a Nike advertisement feature Ronaldinho in September 2005. Since I couldn’t locate the original one on YouTube, I’m referencing the same one published by a different user as below.