Rehan HoodaOct 10, 2016 11:40:18 IST
9 October 2006, Google announced that it would acquire YouTube in an all-stock $1.65 billion deal. This deal is considered among one of the most iconic deals in the Tech world. The acquisition came in less than two years of YouTube starting its operations which included testing the website and opening it up for commercial usage. YouTube was considered one of the most valuable startups before this deal. The company was founded by former PayPal employees with the website being registered on 15 February 2005.
Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim started the website with the idea for a place where people could put out content for everyone to see and discover compatible people with similar interest through a search. This was a video version of the online dating website HotOrNot. This idea was later changed and tweaked to the current format where people can share any video content on the site and have a conversation with people from all parts of the world.
Javed Karim uploaded the first video "Me at the Zoo." on the website on 23 April 2005. The original video is still online and has gathered more than 33 million views at the time of writing this article. The video is nothing special. It is a 19-second long clip explaining the scenario for people to watch. It is nowhere near the 2,658 million views of "Gangnam Style" by Psy. But, this is the basic idea of what Facebook statuses are meant for, to share the place and "Whats on your mind?" question. The history associated with the video has made it popular on the Internet, especially YouTube.
Before Psy's "Gangnam Style," the first video to gain popularity and cross one million videos in September was a video by Nike starring Ronaldinho. The original upload is no longer online on YouTube, but one thing to note is the fact that this video was posted and reached one million views by September 2006 during the Beta testing. The platform used was launched for public in December 2005. YouTube initially raised an investment of $3.5 million during launch from Sequoia Capital. It raised further $8 million with more than 100 million videos and 20 million users watching and uploading the videos during the summer of 2006.
The Google deal changed the game for YouTube and all the startups, confirming that startups and great ideas can make it big given sufficient hard work and most importantly, the right idea. Some companies are following the same route, like WhatsApp, Uber, Airbnb and Hike from India. Despite the acquisition, the company has not changed its core fundamental principles about serving its users. It continuously works to keep the website up and running without a break, along with testing new features and interface tweaks. The company also tried to push its social network Google Plus using YouTube but that did not work out, and the company had to rollback the integration.
After the acquisition, the company has made significant additions and changes to the website with the most notable ones being the introduction of YouTube Partners to team-up with video content creators, advertisements, the introduction of rentals to watch movies for a limited time, and holding a presidential debate in partnership with CNN in 2007. More recently, the company introduced the function to do live streaming of games and events, YouTube Kids, YouTube Gaming, YouTube Music and YouTube Red and the most recent YouTube Go.
In addition to the specific apps for different audience groups, the company also introduced 360 videos with the ability to experience YouTube content in virtual reality environment. YouTube is always working on improving the experience for the community with the introduction of newer programs like YouTube Heros where users can help maintain the quality of content and report flag inappropriate content.
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