Happy 5th birthday Youtube

The phenomenon that is video hosting website YouTube is five years old next week.

It is just out of its digital nappy but it is so much a part of everyday life, what on earth would we do without it?

It may be only five years ago that its first video was posted but it seems like a lifetime ago already.

An incredible 100 million people visit YouTube every month to watch everything from sneezing pandas to the latest Lady GaGa video.

And an unbelievable 40% of all the videos available anywhere in the world are now stored on this Goliath among web phenomenons.

It’s the fourth biggest site on the whole internet and streams 5 billion videos every month – 17 streams a month per visitor, with 15 hours worth of video uploaded to YouTube every minute of every day.

You’d have to live four lifetimes to watch every video minute contained on the site.

But it’s not just a video web hosting service anymore. In August 2008, YouTube became the internet’s second biggest search engine, above Yahoo and just behind the all-conquering Google.

It’s now a huge worldwide influencer too.

The Obama political camp used YouTube to connect with younger viewers in its US Presidential Election campaign. And the type of influence one previously anonymous individual can have if their YouTube video goes viral is unprecedented.

Unsurprisingly, the Labour Party created a cartoon version of its manifesto this week, especially designed to run on YouTube to capture younger voters.

So, what’s the most popular YouTube video of all time then? Surely that’ll be a good indicator to the state of the world, as so many of us invest so much time and take so much pleasure in watching it.

It’s Susan Boyle’s first appearance on Britain’s Got Talent with 90,803,532 views worldwide.

We’re a cultured bunch aren’t we?


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