YouTube Lights Online Birthday Cake

By Eric S. Page
|  Friday, Apr 23, 2010  |  Updated 12:00 PM PDT
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YouTube Lights Online Birthday Cake

On April 23, 2005, YouTube uploaded its first clip, which was shot in San Diego.

The online video site has since transformed the Web, but five years ago, it was on nobody's radar, except, maybe, its future owner, Google, which paid $1.65 billion in an all-stock deal for YouTube the year after the video-delivery site launched.

While YouTube's official birthday was on Valentine's Day 2005, it took company co-founder Jawed Karim more than two months to post a clip of his visit to the San Diego zoo's elephant enclosure. "Me at the Zoo" runs just 19 seconds but it has been watched by nearly 2 million viewers in the intervening five years.

The traffic on the site -- and submissions to it -- has exploded since its inception; YouTube says that Web visitors to the site watch hundreds of millions of videos every day. According to YouTube, 24 hours of video is uploaded every minute.

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