YouTube: ‘Broadcasting Yourself’ into the Future
For just over four years, YouTube has been a part of most of our lives. For some, it has been used to watch music videos, movie clips, or funny home videos. For others, it may have been used as a source of world news, research, or academic information. For even others, the application has been used as an outlet to communicate their personal views. Either way, in the short time that it has existed, YouTube has contributed to our lives and will continue to do so for years to come.
What exactly is YouTube?
YouTube goes beyond traditional video broadcasting and allows the internet-users themselves to control the content on the website. It essentially puts the power into the hands of the consumers. A person can make a home video and post it to YouTube.com for all others to see who visit the site.
YouTube was founded in February, 2005 by three men: Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim. They all got together and combined Hurley’s degree in design with Chen and Karim’s degrees in computer science to come up with the concept. The first official video uploaded to YouTube was one featuring Karim himself called “Me at the zoo”. It was posted on April 23, 2005:
Between November 2005 and April 2006, YouTube received investment funding from Sequoia Capital. By November 2006, Google bought the company for 1.65 billion dollars.
YouTube is very easy to use. It is not necessary for a user to register to the website, but there are some advantages to doing so. Registering allows people to upload their own videos to broadcast, lets them rate videos, and enables them to comment on other videos. There are also some cool features that can be used such as closed captions and annotations. Closed captions work for videos that are in different languages, ones that have unclear sounds, or can benefit those who are hard at hearing or deaf. Annotations can make a video more interactive. They can allow for a display of background information about the video being shown and it can enable links to other videos or websites from within a video.
YouTube is compatible with other social media applications. For example, if a Facebook user wants to share a video on their ‘wall’, they can easily embed a video to their page with the click of a mouse.
What does the Future of YouTube Look Like?
It is unknown what sort of features YouTube will create next, but I strongly believe that the social application will not be dying out any time soon. Statistics from October 2009 state that YouTube was getting over a billion views per day. More recent announcements say that these hits keep growing larger. YouTube will continue to play a large role in people’s lives. I will even go so far as to predict that the future of television may be in jeopardy as Internet sources for entertainment, news, and other content become more accessible.
Here is a video of my thoughts:
For another perspective on YouTube, visit Jessica’s blog post.
~ by Kali on January 27, 2010.