What You Didn’t Know About YouTube

Whether you’re searching for sports highlights, music videos or taking a lesson on how to cook, workout, or tie a tie (all of which I admit to have done), YouTube is the answer. Recently I read an article from mashable.com which introduced me to a few interesting quirks the average YouTube’r may not know about this cultural phenomenon. I thought I’d share.

1. The Origins of YouTube – To discover how such a basic but brilliant idea was conceived you’d have to go back to 2005 where the three co-founders Jawed Karim, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen acquired the initial funding from bonuses awarded after the buyout of former internet startup PayPal by Ebay. After their proposed dating site Tune In Hook Up ended as a complete dud their motivations for YouTube arose from frustration. Combine Hurley and Chen’s frustration of being unable to share footage of a dinner party, add the frustration of Karim being unable to access the once famous Janet Jackson Superbowl wardrobe malfunction and VOILA. YouTube and the concept of sharing user generated videos online was created. Inspiration can come from interesting places.

2. Those YouTube Pranksters! – An ongoing YouTube trick many wouldn’t know occurs when you pause any YouTube video and hold the left and up arrow keys at the same time. Prepare to be mindlessly engaged in a snake-esque type surprise!

April fools is also apparently an annual celebration at YouTube as in past years they’ve played friendly pranks on us users which have varied from forced absorption of the hit song Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley, to flipping the site upside down, to translating colors to randomized letters. What bad acid trip like prank will they have in store for us this year?!

3. Getting Viral – Although there’s a struggle to quantifiably define “viral” on a daily basis user generated videos are uploaded and discovered rendering anywhere from a thousand to ten million hits in a period of a day to a week. To stay in the loop on the latest “viral videos” visit www.youtube.com/charts to see the most viewed videos according to day, week, month or of all time. Most viewed video ever? That would be Justin Bieber’s music video Baby. (No further comment just the leftover feeling of disappointment and repugnance).

4. Why We Care – No matter how impractical, ridiculous or bizarre you may find some of these facts to be YouTube is developing stats and figures which from a marketing and advertising stand point, can ill afford to be ignored. For example:

  • The average user spends between 15-25 minutes a day on the site. As of February 2011 YouTube has 490 million unique users worldwide per month, initiating an estimated 92 billion page views each month and spending approximately 2.9 billion hours on YouTube in a month!
  • More video content is uploaded to YouTube in a 60 day period than the three major U.S. television networks created in 60 years. The YouTube player is embedded across tens of millions of websites.
  • There are more than 400 million tweets a minute sharing a YouTube link each link then creates approximately 7 new YouTube sessions.

*All stats from mashable.com

So there you have it the rise and growth of YouTube, some of its quirky characteristics and how it’s taking over as an increasingly impactful media channel.

Here at Spring some of our favorite YouTube videos include:

Charlie Bit My Finger – Also the most Viewed video of all time not including music videos.

Drugged Kid After Dentist

Wedding Dance (Roger’s favorite – he’s a softie at heart)

Temper Tantrum At Grocery Store

We’d love to hear yours as well so share away and while you’re at it check out our YouTube channel here at Spring!

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