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YouTube turns eight

It's almost difficult to remember a time before YouTube and the world of keyboard cats, Star Wars kids and K-Pop music videos

Well, it wasn't really that long ago – this week the Google-owned video service turns eight.

Memory lane

Back when YouTube first launch in 2005 the world and the web was a different place. Twitter was still a year off, The Huffington Post had just launched and Apple introduced the iPod shuffle.

Since then much has changed. YouTube was acquired by Google for US$1.65 billion in 2006 and has since grown into one of the most popular websites on the planet.

YouTube announced the birthday news via a blog post.

“We’d like to thank you for making YouTube the special place that it is. For showing us how video can create connections, transcend borders and make a difference. For clicking these links even if you aren’t sure what they’ll be, but you trust us. In short, thanks for making us better in big ways and small ones, too. We can’t wait to see what you come up with next,” the company wrote.


The blog post also included some expectedly impressive stats: YouTube users now upload over 100 hours of video every minute. YouTube now has over 1 billion active monthly users, that's nearly half of all the people on the planet.

And its growth has been phenomenal. In 2011 YouTube was averaging 48 hours of video uploaded every minute, in 2012 that increased to 72 hours and shows no signs of slowing.

Tuning into revenue

Despite its massive user base, YouTube has only recently really started exploring moentising options. While targeted ads have been available for some time, YouTube just launched paid subscriptions for premium content, allowing creators to profit from their work. 

So while they'll always be cat videos doing the rounds online, expect the next eight years of YouTube to be more monetised, both for YouTube and content creators.

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