YouTube is five years old this week

YouTube celebrates its fifth birthday this week
YouTube celebrates its fifth birthday this week

YouTube celebrates its fifth birthday this week, with the site currently attracting over two billion views per day.

Such is its impact that it has become difficult to remember a time before YouTube, particularly for those millions of teens that have grown up with the internet over the last five years.

Originally launched in 2005, YouTube is celebrating its five year anniversary with a special YouTube birthday site, which shows a timeline of milestones, celebrity-curated playlists, and a "My YouTube Story" project – via which users can upload videos informing others about how YouTube has affected their own lives.

YouTube and Google TV

Of course, we all have our favourite YouTube moments, from our favourite (professionally-produced) music videos through to amateur home-videos of skateboarding pets or dancing Star Wars fans.

"Our biggest challenge is making sure we don't taste too many things," Chad Hurley, YouTube's Co-Founder and Chief Executive, told Reuters.

Hurley added that YouTube is becoming focused on social networking, on showing you what your friends have watched and are watching.

He also noted that rights-holders were becoming more agreeable for fans to watch and mash-up short clips of their shows, adding, "though a lot of them might not come out and say it for business reasons."

While he remains firmly schtum on YouTube's financials, analysts say YouTube might even break even this year for the first time.

Forrester analyst James L. McQuivey, said YouTube's Vevo partnership with music labels was "really one of the first legitimizations of YouTube as a commercial platform."

We expect to hear more about Google's longer-term plans and strategy for YouTube (and Google TV) at this week's annual I/O developers' conference in San Francisco.

Via The New York Times and YouTube Blog

Adam Hartley