Celebrating 10 Years of YouTube

On April 23, 2005, history was made. An 18-second clip about how cool elephants are was shot at the San Diego Zoo and uploaded to a then-private video sharing site called YouTube.  

That May, YouTube launched in beta before becoming available to the wider public six months later. Ten years have now passed, and that site has grown to become not just the biggest video platform on the web—a community of more than one billion people, where hundreds of millions of hours of video are watched and billions of views are generated every day —but one of the largest and most diverse collections of self-expression in history.

YouTube is a portrait of our global culture, built and supported by an ecosystem of innovative creators, visionary brands and eager users ready to embrace the next wave of great entertainment. It was built by comedians, families, activists, performers, teachers, and pranksters. Built with cats and babies and blenders and (First) Kisses and surprises. It was built on the silly. It was built on the profound. It was built by you--the consumer, the creator, the advertiser.

Today, YouTube creators are some of the biggest names in entertainment. And brands have built some of the most iconic and breakthrough advertising of all time. It's a world where little ideas can bring about amazing things and where amazing things can bring little delights to each of us.

And it's a world that continues to grow:
  • Watch time on YouTube increased 50% in 2014; 90% on mobile devices1 
  • The number of people that visit YouTube per day is 40% larger than it was this time last year2
  • YouTube currently reaching more 18-49 year-olds than any cable network in the United States3

So in honor of our 10th birthday, we’re celebrating you, our community of creators, brands and users. Throughout the month of May, we’ll look back at some of the most memorable moments that you’ve created and shared on YouTube in the last 10 years.
You can follow our celebration throughout the month of May on our YouTube Trends blog. And tell us some of your favorite YouTube moments, using #10YearsofYouTube.

1 Google Data, 2013-2014
2 Google Data, March 2015 vs. March 2015
3 Google-commissioned Nielsen study, December 2013 - February 2015. Audience Reach (000) among people 18-49 for YouTube (mobile only) and 124 U.S. cable networks individually (television only)