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YouTube factsheet

Who started it?

YouTube was founded in February 2005 by three ex-PayPal employees: Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim. The very first video uploaded was called ‘Me at the Zoo’, on 23 April 2005. By June 2006, more than 65,000 videos were being uploaded every day. In November 2006, YouTube was bought by Google.

What is it?

YouTube is a video-sharing website on which users can upload, share and view videos. YouTube is available in 19 countries and 12 languages.

How can it be used?

Music videos account for 20% of uploads. Popular genres include:

  • Music videos, film trailers
  • Cuteness: cats and babies
  • Violence: fails and explosions
  • How-to videos
  • Bikini babes

YouTube videos can be displayed on web pages outside the site, once they have been embedded into social network sites and blogs. In order to embed, YouTube users simply copy the html code that accompanies each YouTube movie.

Who uses it?

Every minute, 24 hours of video are uploaded onto YouTube. YouTube receives more than 2 billion viewers each day. YouTube now uses the same amount of bandwidth as was used by the entire internet in 2000.
The U.S. accounts for 70% of YouTube users. Over half of YouTube’s users are under 20 years of age.

What other applications does it work with?

There are numerous web sites, applications and browser plug-ins that allow users to download YouTube videos – a feature that YouTube itself does not offer. Since June 2007, YouTube’s videos are available on a range of Apple products, even though these do not support Flash.

Should you use it?

Whether your aim is to entertain or to inform (or both), video is a powerful channel for quickly engaging your customers, responding to their complaints, and demonstrating your social media prowess.
For brand exposure, YouTube is one of the most powerful branding tools on the web. Not only is YouTube the second biggest search engine (just behind Google itself ), but its videos also rank high. But what I most like is the way in which advertisers can be creative with some of YouTube’s lesser known features, such as interactive video games.
A great example (which I discovered by chance while researching for my book) is the Trivial Pursuit YouTube game.

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