YouTube is the Fifth Largest Website in the World.

According to internet legend and lore, the idea for YouTube came about after a dinner party in February 2005. Two PayPal employees, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen developed the idea when they experienced difficulty sharing videos that were shot during the party at Chen's apartment in San Francisco. It's a great story, and appeals to the day dreaming entrepreneur that lives in all of us.

The domain name was registered and activated on February 15, 2005 and the website was developed over the subsequent months. On April 23, 2005, the first video was uploaded to the site. The first video is titled Me at the Zoo and shows co-founder Jawed Karim at the San Diego Zoo. The video remains on the site to this day.

YouTube began as a venture-funded technology startup, primary funding came via a $11.5 million investment by Sequoia Capital. YouTube offered a public beta test of the site in May 2005. By July 2006, 65,000 videos were being uploaded each day and the site was receiving more than 100 million videos per day. Not to shabby for a years worth of work!

In October 2006, Google announced that it had acquired YouTube for $1.65 billion in Google stock. By June 2008, Forbes Magazine projected revenues at $200 million, noting progress in advertising sales via Google ad network.

As YouTube celebrates it's 5th birthday it is the fifth largest website in the world, boasting "well over a billion views a day". YouTube is currently testing HTML5 technologies that will allow videos to be viewed without Adobe Flash Player or any other plug-in and have recently begun dipping their toes into the waters of online rentals.

The American Dream lives on. All it takes is a great idea and a lot of hard work.


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