5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About YouTube

The first ever YouTube video was uploaded by co-founder Jawed Karim on April 23, 2005 -- exactly 16 years ago, today. A year later, Karim and fellow co-founders sold the platform to Google for a whopping $1.65 billion. Here are 5 things you probably didn't know about Youtube. 


The Founders of YouTube Were PayPal Empoloyees In 2005, Steve Chen, Jawed Karim and Chad Hurley began YouTube. They first met while working at the then-Internet start-up, PayPal. The partners received initial funding for YouTube from bonuses when eBay bought out PayPal. You could say that if there was no PayPal, there would be no YouTube.

YouTube was Started as a Dating Site YouTube initially started out as a dating site named "Tune In Hook Up" — inspired by the then-popular Hot or Not. But fate had other intentions for the company when two different events took place. The first event was when Jawed Karim was unable to find video footage of Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction”, and the second event was when Hurley and Chen were not able to share a dinner party video because of e-mail attachment restrictions. Luckily Dropbox did not exist at the time, otherwise YouTube may never have been created.


The First Video Was At The Zoo On April 23, 2005, co-founder Jawed Karim uploaded the first video to YouTube, which featured a visit to the zoo. Karim went to the San Diego Zoo and was filmed standing in front of the elephant enclosure. The 18-second video, titled "Me at the zoo" has since garnered over 162 million views. To this day, it is the only video on Karim's channel. 

Rickrolls And Pranks On April Fools Day The company plays pranks on YouTubers every April 1, which started with a Rickroll in 2007. The prank is named for singer Rick Astley and his song, "Never Gonna Give You Up," which is the video that briefly replaced every video on the site.  In 2009, YouTube surprised its users when it turned the website upside down. Since starting the April Fool’s Day tradition, every year YouTube comes up with something unique to keep the trend alive

The Most Viewed YouTube Videos Of All Time Is... On June 17, 2016, Korean education brand Pinkfong released their video "Baby Shark Dance", and the rest is history. On February 11, 2021, the video became the most-viewed YouTube video of all time, surpassing the former record holder "Despacito" by Luis Fonsi. "Baby Shark Dance" currently has 8.39 billion lifetime views on YouTube.