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Number Crunch: YouTube

If 2015 was the year video overtook photos as the most popular form of social content, it was also the year that YouTube's crown was sniffed at, if not exactly threatened by Facebook.

Still Google's prized possession remains the undoubted king of online video, from kittens and Bieber to branded content. Read on to find out what's in store for the streaming giant in 2016.

History in the making

YouTube was created by former PayPal employees Chad Hurley, Steven Chen and Jawad Karim, however its exact origins remain somewhat murky.

According to various reports, the idea for YouTube came up after Chen and Hurley experienced difficulty sharing videos they shot at a dinner party.

Another report says that Karim came up with the concept after being unable to find videos of either Janet Jackson exposing her breast in the 2004 Super Bowl, or the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Hinting at the platform's later proclivity for animal clips, YouTube's first video was Me at the zoo.

Playback

YouTube now has 1 billion monthly active users, putting it firmly in Facebook territory.

Every day over 4 billion videos are viewed on YouTube, with 300 hours of new videos uploaded every minute.

Square eyes

YouTube is the outright winner when it comes to retaining eyeballs. The average YouTuber spends 40 minutes per day on the platform.

Last year YouTube released YouTube Red, an ad-free paid subscription service.

Child's play

YouTube is super popular with young audiences. 81% of YouTubers are aged between 14 – 17 years, while 81% of Millennials use YouTube.

Music

Music is the most popular search category on YouTube, followed closely by the computer game Minecraft.

With close to 2.5 billion views, Gangnam Style remains the most popular YouTube clip of all time. 

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