Seven Years Later: A YouTube Special

Seven Years Later: A YouTube SpecialGuest blogger Zuhair of MrTechz writes:

It may be hard to believe, but YouTube has just turned seven! The first video was uploaded to YouTube back in 2005 and, since then, it has taken off to inconceivable heights. You only have to take a look at the numbers to see how far YouTube has come since the first video, titled Me at the Zoo, was uploaded. This 19 seconds of video that was uploaded on April 23rd, 2005 has since been followed by millions of videos uploaded. As of January 2012, YouTube has one hour of footage uploaded every second with over four billion videos being viewed per day. As of 2011, the video-sharing website has had over one trillion views. All it took was seven years. Google must be pretty happy with the returns that its $1.65 billion investment is bringing in.

To mark this momentous occasion, let’s take a look at some of the shenanigans and videos that have gone viral on YouTube since its inception.

The first-ever RickRoll

For those of you who don’t know, a RickRoll is basically an online practical joke that lures users into clicking on a video that contains the Rick Astley song Never Gonna Give You Up. Chris Pirillo has certainly had his fair share of getting RickRoll. The first RickRoll was apparently performed in 2007 — not long after YouTube was established. Since then, over 18 million people in the US have been RickRoll — unlucky folks!

Rebecca Black – Friday

Possibly the biggest viral video on YouTube in 2011, Rebecca Black’s Friday song received over 167 million views in just a few months. Rebecca Black is now the proud author of the most ‘disliked’ video on YouTube, ever. She has even defeated Justin Bieber himself by exceeding the number of dislikes his ‘Baby’ song received, so she has definitely soared to new heights since her parents happily forked out $4000 to finance her music video.

Nyan Cat

First time viewers of the Nyan Cat often have a classic WTF moment and rightly so, because this is one of those viral videos that really does appear to be meaningless. The Nyan Cat video was uploaded in early 2011 and has since got over 70 million views. The video consists of an animated cat flying through space and leaving behind a rainbow trail. Add in some Japanese music and voila! You have yourself a viral video.

Kony 2012

Dubbed as the most viral video of all time, Kony 2012 had over a 100 million hits in less than six days. If you don’t know what Kony 2012, is then you have likely been living under a rock as it was not long ago that this video became a media sensation. The Kony 2012 video is an effort to raise awareness on the wrongdoings of a guerilla group in Africa known to capture children and forcefully induct them into an army of killers. The organization behind the campaign is a non-profit organization known as Invisible Children. The video has since received its fair share of criticism, but regardless of the authenticity of the campaign, the Kony 2012 video is a perfect example of a well-planned and executed viral video.

“Charlie bit my finger!”

Kony 2012 may have been the fastest-spreading viral video, but this one tops the list of the most viewed video in YouTube history. It has over 400 million views. ‘Charlie bit my finger’ is a 56-second long video that has made two English brothers very famous indeed! The video shows the two brothers (Harry and Charlie) sitting on a sofa with Harry putting his finger into… oh, just see for yourself by watching the video! It’s quite hilarious.

Seven years have passed since YouTube has been around; will it last another seven years? Only time will tell, though considering that YouTube is extremely expensive to run and the number of lawsuits that have been filed against it, this makes it a difficult proposition for Google. However, Google does have the resources to keep YouTube running for many years to come and it just means that we’ll likely see more changes to YouTube in coming years — but that was inevitable, anyway. How long do you think YouTube will last? Will it be around in another seven years time? Drop us a comment and share your thoughts!

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Zuhair is a passionate freelance technology writer who specializes in social media, cloud computing and business management. He is currently studying Business Administration and aspires to be an online entrepreneur. In his spare time he enjoys working out and is an aviation enthusiastic.