The rise of social media in the twenty
first centaury has brought about drastic changes in the way we live our lives.
The creation of many social media websites such as Facebook, Instagram,
Twitter, etc. are some of the major contributors of this change. However, the
creation of YouTube, a video sharing
website has drastically changed the world. YouTube is a
social networking website through which any individual or organization with
Internet access can upload videos that can be seen instantly from a large
audience. YouTube, the world’s largest video sharing platform has greatly
impacted the world and in some cases, some individual videos have even shaped
out world events.
In 2005, when YouTube had just been created, it was
announced that the site’s users were consuming the equivalent of an entire
Blockbuster store each month.Now, more than 400 hours worth of content is being
uploaded every minute.
It has become the world’s third most-visited
website, after Google and Facebook.
YouTube’s culture is known for its democracy
and enthusiastic education, along with being disparaged for the countless cat
videos and triggering comments.
However YouTube’s influence is unbeatable. Absolutely
anyone can upload a video onto YouTube for free irrespective of who they are,
where they’re from, or what it is that they want to upload. The only question left
unanswered is, how exactly has it impacted the world? In this paper we shall
see how YouTube changed the world.
In order to understand its impact, we must
first understand how it came to be and where it all started.
YouTube was founded
Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim, when they worked for PayPal. Before
working at PayPal, Hurley persude a course in design at the Indiana University of
Pennsylvania. At the same time, the
other two studied computer
science together at
of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. The headquarters of
YouTube was initially on top of a pizzeria and Japanese restaurant in San Mateo, California.
Screenshot of the site
a few months after its launch, taken on the Wayback Machine.
The domain name “YouTube.com” was activated on February 14, 2005 with
the feature to upload and watch videos being integrated on April 23, 2005. The
first YouTube video was called “Me at the zoo”. It was uploaded on April 23, 2005, and stars Jawed Karim
visiting the San
YouTube started as an “angel-funded”
project which was being worked on in a garage workshop. In November 2005,
venture firm Sequoia
an initial $3.5 million, and Roel of Botha joined the YouTube board of directors. In April 2006,
Sequoia and Artis Capital Management invested an additional $8 million in the
company, which had experienced significant growth in its first few months.
On October 9,
2006, it was announced that the company would be purchased by Google for
US$1.65 billion in stock, which was completed on November 13. At that time it
was Google’s second-largest acquisition. The agreement between Google and
YouTube came after YouTube presented three agreements with media companies in
an attempt to avoid copyright-infringement lawsuits. YouTube
planned to continue operating independently, with its co-founders and 68
employees working within Google.
What exactly is YouTube?
YouTube is a video sharing website
from which users have the ability to watch, like, share, comment and upload
their own videos for free as and when they want to. It
can be accessed on PCs, laptops, tablets and even mobile phones.
What are its main
Users have the option to search and view the videos of their
Users have the option to create their own Youtube channel
Users have the option of uploading content/ videos on to their
Users have the option to like, comment, share and even subscribe
to other channels of their liking
Users have the option of creating playlists of videos and
Users have the option of going on a live stream as well as
viewing other channels live streams.
Why are teens
attracted to it?
It is free and available for
everyone to watch their favorite videos along with exploring other genres to develop
their interests. Most teens watch comedy shows, hacks, music
videos, recipes, how to guides and more. They also make use of the video
sharing option to watch vloggers and their favorite YouTube celebrities and
subscribe to their channels.
It has made it a “Small World”
One of the most amazing and biggest impacts of
YouTube is that it has made the world seem like a smaller place. With just a
click of a button, one can travel to a different country and even visit various
fantasies. Before YouTube the best we could achieve would be the information we
got from books and the visuals we got from various movies and documentaries
which were hours long and usually cost money. However now, we can have the same
experience and more for free by watch and listening from the people from those
places through YouTube. It is mind blowing that with just a quick search one
can watch a Japanese music video, go on an
educational trip to Israel, the last
Shangri La, or learn everything one can know about India. It is opening up many and new opportunities to people
who were initially ignorant of the world around them. It has made one and other
open their eyes to see the beauty and he variety of cultures in different parts
of the world.
YouTube can get you
Youtube provides a great opportunity for people
to get discovered for their amazing talents. Singers, artists, dancers,
musicians, filmmakers, content creator, the list is endless. Anyone can upload
a video on YouTube show casing their various talents and if the right people
see it, they can propel to stardom overnight. For example: Justin Bieber. When Justin’s
mom recorded him sing with the guitar on her phone, she wanted to show the rest
of her family and friends. So she posted the video on YouTube. But to her
surprise it hit over a million views and was watched by Scooter Braun, a music
manager and which lead to the opportunity to meet Usher and become a pop icon. In
the olden days, artists had to get gigs at bars and pubs, performing all night
for people who usually didn’t care while hoping that one day someone important would
be their watching. Now YouTube provides millions of views for your videos, provided
it is really worth the watch.
YouTube provides A
Platform to spread the Truth & Incite Change
YouTube is providing a platform for people to
post videos about the various problems and issues in the their countries which
may or may not be broadcast on the new channels around the world; This lets the
people know about the various issues taking place around the world and brings
them together o take action. Non-profit organizations, fundraising teams and
more have used YouTube to spread the word about everything from the death
penalty to saving the rainforests with web video activism on YouTube. Millions
of dollars have been raised and petitions have been signed as the result of
YouTube campaigns. However the most amazing thing is how YouTube has spread the
political news around the world.
One example is the story of Neda Agha-Soltan,
who was killed in protests over the Iranian election of 2009. The world initially
had no clue of what was taking place in Iran until the video was posted. Immediately
people and countries came together to take action against the issue.
It Has Revolutionized
YouTube has also the entertainment business forever.
Before people used to read books, watch movies, documentaries and go to shows
for entertainment. However now we spend hours and hours watching one YouTube
video after another, for free. YouTube’s videos aren’t limited to the website alone.
The videos are now broadcast on various talk shows and news channels like ‘Ellen’
and ‘BBC News’. Before people used to ask each other whether they watched the latest
box office hit, however now people ask each other whether or not they saw the latest
viral video on YouTube.
It Has Revolutionized
YouTube is full of ‘how to’ and tutorials on
just about anything and everything. All one has to do is type it out on the
YouTube search engine and more often the not YouTube will have over a hundred
videos on it. Some people are even trying to make use of YouTube to offer a
free education to the world. For instance, hedge fund analyst Salman Khan quit
his job to start his YouTube channel for education, where he has over 1400
videos on topics ranging from Physics to chemistry to biology and Geography. With
videos and content creators like this, anyone in the world with an internet connection
can be educated.
The rise of the Prosumers
Prosumers are people who consume
and produce media. The limitations and barriers to enter into the business to
produce and distribute media content is at an all time low. Therefore for
websites like YouTube, it means that the world is a stage. Young people are so
comfortable with making and sharing their own content that boundaries between
maker, user, owner and customer become increasingly blurred.
Convenience over quality
Until recently, most YouTube
videos are of low quality. People watch music videos and movies which are meant
to be of high quality. However the videos on YouTube are in comparatively lower
quality as to that of DVDs. Although YouTube now has the ability to upload
videos in HD and even Ultra HD, the majority of the videos are still in low
quality, which intern makes it rather irrelevant. The important change here is
that fidelity isn’t a number one priority, and with UGC we see factors like immediacy
and intimacy become more important.
YouTube is the new MTV
In the 80, MTV was born. It was the latest
trend that people were addicted to. Most of the content that was streamed on
MTV was music videos. In fact it was because of MTV that the making of music videos
became a business in itself. However when YouTube came along it took over
completely. All the top most watched videos on YouTube were music videos by artists
like Justin Biber and Katty Perry who were at the top on the music industry at
the time. Eventually MTV stopped try to be a music channel.
The expectation of free
From the day it began till
today, YouTube’s videos have been almost completely free for everyone to watch.
Which includes everything from music videos and films to cat videos and
tutorials? A Spotify-style paid subscription offer is coming, but the ad-funded
model will remain. The influence which the relatable and entertaining content
posted on the website is immeasurable. This has caused music companies to change
their approach and strategy as well as news companies. We are moving towards a
two-tier system, whereby free views are ad-funded, and subscriptions are
ad-free and higher quality, but the premise that everything is available for
free somewhere will remain.
Short-form content for shorter
There has always been the
question of whether our attention spans have shortened. Scientists have confirmed
that they not only are, but also that they are continuing to decrease. YouTube
has a huge role to play in all this. The average YouTube video is around three
to four minutes long, although there are video of all lengths and sizes. Even latest
pop music videos are about that long and have been so for a long time. But lots
of YouTube clips are much shorter than this, and the proliferation of digital
video more recently across Facebook, Vine and Instagram has seen seen
short-form content spiral.
YouTube has also led to the rise of
self-made celebrities. YouTube vloggers and content creators regularly post videos
for the world to watch and ultimately build a fan base. From gamers to makeup
tutorials to life style reviewers, there is a place for everyone on YouTube.
These users film, edit and post their own content which gain millions of views
and eventually gain the attention of various brands and companies. This leads
to the two worlds of marketing and social media to come together and has made a
business of itself.
Initially it might be quite unbelievable
just how large of an impact a simple video sharing website can have on the
world, however after seeing the effects, it is undeniable that YouTube has changed
pop culture and the world at large. However these changes are not solely due to
the result of one website, YouTube, it is a collaborative of cultural trends
which have developed organically. Yet the original minds which led to this creation
must get some of the credit.
YouTube acts as a platform for
expression, a home for multiple audiences, a marketplace for media products, a
place for debate, a navigable library of information and a source of
inspiration, all at once.
It was thirteen years ago when
YouTube offered the public a beta test of its website. Since then, things have changed
drastically. Although its initial worth was nothing, as it was not the first video
sharing platform, it was the only one which was successful in bringing the
large amount of content which was created to the masses for free. As a result it
had a profound impact on advertising, pop culture, media, politics, music and everything
across the globe.