Where were you 10 years ago?
Wherever you were, one thing is clear: you were not connected to your family and friends as you are now. Social networking as we know it today didn’t exist back then. At least not in the easy to use and engaging manner it is today. Back then you had few options and most of these were for the tech savvy with the likes of MySpace, Friendster and Yahoo! Messenger being the few mainstream alternatives. Today we have Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Whatsapp, Instagram and many others that have a lot of influence on not only just how we interact with friends and connect with family but also how we consume news, participate in elections and governance issues. Like Facebook earlier in the month, YouTube turns 10 today.
Founded by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim, the site that came to life when the domain youtube.com was registered by the three on 14th February, 2005, has gone on to become the one-stop shop for news, TV shows, live global events and inspired a whole new generation of content creators ranging from teenagers doing ‘how-to’ tech videos in their rooms to 80-year old nannies offering advice on a variety of subjects and making lots of money in the process. YouTube boasts over a billion views per month and it can only grow further.
YouTube was acquired by Google in 2006 and the search giant has been instrumental in shaping it from a small ambitious startup to the web giant it is today. YouTube.co.ke, Kenya’s specific domain, was launched in October 2011 and is one of the most visited sites in the country today.
It will be interesting to see how YouTube fares going forward. How its new services like YouTube Music and increased competition define it going forward.