10 years of YouTube in 10 videos

YouTube started, rather innocuously, 10 years ago on February 14th, 2005 when Youtube.com was registered as a domain.

Since then, it’s gone on to become the biggest video sharing site in the world, transforming how we digest information online, altering the world of advertising and even creating global celebrities out of thin air.

It’s hard to believe that YouTube would become the powerhouse it has when the first video ever uploaded was a 19-second video of YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim stood in front of some elephants at San Diego Zoo.

But, 10 years later – with one $1.65 billion (£883 million at the time) acquisition from Google along the way – YouTube is a force to be reckoned with. It boasts well over 1 billion active users, who between them upload over 300 minutes of new content every day.

After 10 years of YouTube videos, though, the burning question is: what have people been watching all this time?

10 Years of YouTube: 2005

Tow Chinese Boys: I want it that way

Uploaded by “Cow” and sporting a wonderful typo in the video title, the “tow chinese boys” in question are actually internet comedians known as “Back Dorm Boys”. While this video has now slipped into relative obscurity, it was the most watched video of 2005 and over the intervening ten years has managed to clock up 6,574,282 views.

10 Years of YouTube: 2006

Evolution of Dance

Dancing has always been infectious, but until Judson Laipply came along with his “Evolution of Dance” video back in 2006, there had never been an outbreak of dance fever like this before, with 289,655,458 cases reported so far.

10 Years of YouTube: 2007

Charlie Bit My Finger – Again!

People just couldn’t get over Charlie biting his older brother’s finger. Uploaded in 2007, this video still gets hits and is currently sat at 810,915,675 views.

10 Years of YouTube: 2008

Avril Lavigne – Girlfriend

While I can’t say that the pop-punk tones of Avril Lavigne are music to my ears, it’s clear that in 2008 people loved to listen to the first single from her comeback album, Girlfriend, climbing up the rankings to become the most popular video of the year and the first video ever to surpass 100 million views. To date, it’s racked up 261,979,632 views and counting.

10 Years of YouTube: 2009

Susan Boyle’s First Audition – I Dreamed a Dream

According to YouTube’s official blog, 2009 saw Britain’s Got Talent entrant Susan Boyle hit the top of the most viewed list, with her performance of “I Dreamed a Dream”, which raked in 120 million views. However, due to a copyright claim, the video has been taken down. So instead, enjoy the one uploaded to the official Britain’s Got Talent YouTube channel, which has barely any attention compared to the original.

10 Years of YouTube: 2010

Bed Intruder Song

In 2010 the world was loving the viral videos, and nothing could quite compare to “Hide Yo’ Kids, Hide Yo’ Wife”, except for the wonderful music video remix that is the “Bed Intruder Song”, currently sat on 125,311,002 views.

10 Years of YouTube: 2011

Rebecca Black – Friday

It spawned a meme, became a way to celebrate the end of the week, and is undoubtedly a viral sensation due – in part – to how downright awful it actually is as a song. Yes, Rebecca Black’s “Friday” was the video everyone was watching in 2011, and has an impressive 75,717,530 views under its belt.

10 Years of YouTube: 2012

PSY – Gangnam Style

This video should need no explanation at all. In 2012, K-pop star Psy took over YouTube and, three years later, is still the  most viewed YouTube video of all time, sitting pretty with a mind-boggling 2,239,821,950 views.

10 Years of YouTube: 2013

Ylvis – The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)

People were flummoxed by the question that Ylvis wanted an answer to, so much so that this music video became the most viewed video on YouTube in 2013, and it’s still amassing views now, with 490,961,530 also wondering what the fox says.

10 Years of YouTube: 2014

Mutant Giant Spider Dog

Scary, puzzling, and downright hilarious, 2014 saw the rise of the Spider Dog and our love for watching others be scared out of their skins. It may have only been up since September of 2014, but already it’s amassed 131,432,659 views.

And here’s a bonus, Alphr’s staff picks!

We’re a sophisticated bunch here in the office…

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