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YouTube just turned 17 years old

On April 24, 17 years ago, Jawed Karim uploaded his first video to YouTube, marking the start of one of today’s most successful video streaming services.

The first video is low resolution with a length of only 19 seconds. In the video is Karim – the co-founder YouTube – at the San Diego Zoo, USA. Like most of the videos that appeared on YouTube in the early days, the clip content was very boring, without much creativity to attract viewers.

But in recording and posting, Karim may have known that YouTube would continue to become the phenomenon it is today. This first video now has over 228 million views.

The first YouTube video is called “Me at the zoo” posted by Jawed Karim

Screen capture

A month after the first video was posted, YouTube released a beta before the official launch in November 2005. Karim left YouTube to study for a master’s degree in computer science at Stanford University, but received tens of millions of dollars worth of shares when Google acquired the service for $1.65 billion in 2006. Karim co-founded a fund venture called Youniversity Ventures (now YVentures), with Airbnb and Reddit.

What’s interesting about this first video clip is that Karim has at times edited the description to express his opinion if Google makes changes to the video platform that he doesn’t like. Last year, Karim criticized YouTube for removing public dislikes.

YouTube is currently a video platform that brings a huge source of income for Google. However, the company is facing competition from Facebook and especially emerging as TikTok. YouTube is also starting to change, it has launched the Short Video format so that creators can upload short content in vertical format for smartphones.

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