YouTube was founded in February, 2005 by Chad Hurley (CEO), Steve Chen (CTO), and Jawed Karim (advisor) who were all early employees of PayPal.Prior to PayPal, Hurley studied design at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Chen and Karim studied computer science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.The domain name "YouTube.com" was activated on February 15, 2005,with the website launching shortly thereafter. In November, 2005, venture capital firm, Sequoia, invested $3.5 million in YouTube.Sequoia Capital partner Roelof Botha, former CFO of PayPal, joined the board of directors at YouTube. By December, YouTube had caught up with iFilm, another popular video website which had been bought by Viacom for $49 million. In April, 2006, Sequoia Capital invested a further $8 million in YouTube.[citation needed]

The site's popularity skyrocketed in December 2005 when it hosted the popular Lazy Sunday clip from a Saturday Night Live broadcast[citation needed]. In February, 2006, NBC Universal asked YouTube to remove several copyrighted NBC video clips, including Lazy Sunday and 2006 Olympics clips, from their site.However, Sky One allowed the release of the Real Life Simpsons Intro, which garnered considerable popular attention.

In March 2006, all Family Guy videos were taken down from the site after complaints by the show's owners. In April 2006, YouTube set a 10-minute limit on videos, except those uploaded through its Director Program.

YouTube began as a venture capital-funded technology startup, primarily from an $11.5 million investment by Sequoia Capital between November 2005 and April 2006. YouTube's early headquarters were situated above a pizzeria and Japanese restaurant in San Mateo, California. The domain name www.youtube.com was activated on February 14, 2005, and the website was developed over the subsequent months. The first YouTube video, titled Me at the zoo, shows co-founder Jawed Karim at the San Diego Zoo. The video was uploaded on April 23, 2005, and can still be viewed on the site. YouTube offered the public a beta test of the site in May 2005. The first video to reach one million views was a Nike advertisement featuring Ronaldinho in November 2005. Following a $3.5 million investment from Sequoia Capital in November, the site launched officially on December 15, 2005, by which time the site was receiving 8 million views a day. The site grew rapidly, and in July 2006 the company announced that more than 65,000 new videos were being uploaded every day, and that the site was receiving 100 million video views per day. According to data published by market research company comScore, YouTube is the dominant provider of online video in the United States, with a market share of around 43% and more than 14 billion views of videos in May 2010.

In May 2011, 48 hours of new videos were uploaded to the site every minute, which increased to 60 hours every minute in January 2012, 100 hours every minute in May 2013, 300 hours every minute in November 2014, and 400 hours every minute in February 2017. The site has 800 million unique users a month. It is estimated that in 2007 YouTube consumed as much bandwidth as the entire Internet in 2000. According to third-party web analytics providers, Alexa and SimilarWeb, YouTube is the second-most visited website in the world, as of December 2016; SimilarWeb also lists YouTube as the top TV and video website globally, attracting more than 15 billion visitors per month.

The choice of the name www.youtube.com led to problems for a similarly named website, www.utube.com. The site's owner, Universal Tube & Rollform Equipment, filed a lawsuit against YouTube in November 2006 after being regularly overloaded by people looking for YouTube. Universal Tube has since changed the name of its website to www.utubeonline.com. In October 2006, Google Inc. announced that it had acquired YouTube for $1.65 billion in Google stock, and the deal was finalized on November 13, 2006.

In March 2010, YouTube began free streaming of certain content, including 60 cricket matches of the Indian Premier League. According to YouTube, this was the first worldwide free online broadcast of a major sporting event. On March 31, 2010, the YouTube website launched a new design, with the aim of simplifying the interface and increasing the time users spend on the site. Google product manager Shiva Rajaraman commented: "We really felt like we needed to step back and remove the clutter." In May 2010, YouTube videos were watched more than two billion times per day. This increased to three billion in May 2011, and four billion in January 2012. In February 2017, one billion hours of YouTube was watched every day.

In October 2010, Hurley announced that he would be stepping down as chief executive officer of YouTube to take an advisory role, and that Salar Kamangar would take over as head of the company. In April 2011, James Zern, a YouTube software engineer, revealed that 30% of videos accounted for 99% of views on the site. In November 2011, the Google+ social networking site was integrated directly with YouTube and the Chrome web browser, allowing YouTube videos to be viewed from within the Google+ interface.

In December 2011, YouTube launched a new version of the site interface, with the video channels displayed in a central column on the home page, similar to the news feeds of social networking sites. At the same time, a new version of the YouTube logo was introduced with a darker shade of red, the first change in design since October 2006. In May 2013, YouTube launched a pilot program to begin offering some content providers the ability to charge $0.99 per month or more for certain channels, but the vast majority of its videos would remain free to view.

In February 2015, YouTube released a secondary mobile app known as YouTube Kids. The app is designed to provide an experience optimized for children, and features a simplified user interface, curated selections of channels featuring age-approriate content (including existing channels and entertainment brands), and parental control features. Later on August 26, 2015, YouTube launched YouTube Gaming-a video gaming-oriented sub-site and app that is intended to compete with the Amazon.com-owned Twitch.tv. 2015 also saw the announcement of a premium YouTube service titled YouTube Red, which provides users with both ad-free content as well as the ability to download videos among other features. On August 10, 2015, Google announced that it was creating a new company, Alphabet, to act as the holding company for Google, with the change in financial reporting to begin in the fourth quarter of 2015. YouTube remains as a subsidiary of Google. In January 2016, YouTube expanded its headquarters in San Bruno by purchasing an office park for $215 million. The complex has 554,000 square feet of space and can house up to 2,800 employees.




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