Founded in February 2005, YouTube is a consumer media company for people to watch and share original videos worldwide through a Web experience.

Everyone can watch videos on YouTube—both on and across the Internet. People can see first-hand accounts of current events, find videos about their hobbies and interests, and discover the quirky and unusual. As more people capture special moments on video, YouTube is empowering them to become the broadcasters of tomorrow.

What is YouTube?

YouTube is a place for people to engage in new ways with video by sharing, commenting on, and viewing videos. YouTube originally started as a personal video sharing service, and has grown into an entertainment destination with people watching more than 50 million videos on the site daily.

With YouTube, people can:

  • Upload, tag and share videos worldwide
  • Browse millions of original videos uploaded by community members
  • Find, join and create video groups to connect with people who have similar interests
  • Customize the experience by subscribing to member videos, saving favorites, and creating playlists
  • Integrate YouTube videos on websites using video embeds or APIs
  • Make videos public or private—users can elect to broadcast their videos publicly or share them privately with friends and family upon upload

YouTube is building a community that is highly motivated to watch and share videos. The service is free for everyone. We always encourage our users to contact us with thoughts, suggestions, feedback or otherwise random ramblings. Make sure to check out our Blog to keep up to date on all the latest YouTube developments.

Usage and operations

In April 2006, 35,000 new videos were uploaded to YouTube daily. The total viewership has been estimated to be in the millions, with 30 million clips watched daily. YouTube has twenty-five employees, with four interns from Stanford University hired as censors to evaluate videos which viewers have marked as "objectionable." The YouTube headquarters is in an Mateo, California.

Video quality

Like Google Video and other video sites, there are complaints about the quality of playback. Sometimes videos' audio and picture feeds do not match up; other times they end prematurely.

Revenue model

Some industry commentators have speculated that YouTube's running costs — specifically the bandwidth required — may be as high as $1 million USD per month, thereby fuelling criticisms that the company does not have a viable business model. Advertisements were launched on the site beginning in March 2006, indicating that the company did not have a source of revenue since its founding in February 2005 — indeed indications suggest that the company's primary source of income at this stage is injections from venture capitalists.

In April 2006, YouTube started using Google AdSense

Inaccurate listings

When users upload videos, they are responsible for providing a textual description of the video along with a list of tags. While most videos have correct tags that are relevant to the content of the video itself, quite a few videos are intentionally mislabeled by their posters in an attempt to artificially gain popularity. For example, a video of a sporting event could be intentionally mislabeled with the tag "Family Guy" in an effort to attract viewings for those searching for Family Guy videos which has nothing to do with sporting events.


On their 6:30 PM bulletin on June 1, 2006, ITV News reported that YouTube and sites like it were encouraging violence and bullying amongst teenagers, who were filming fights on their mobile phones (see happy slapping), and then uploading them to YouTube. While YouTube provides a facility for reporting excessively violent videos, the news report stated that communication with the website was difficult.

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