YouTube Turns 10: How the Viral Video Giant Has Changed Our World

A decade ago, a humble, virtually unknown startup named YouTube uploaded its very first video to the internet. Me At The Zoo aired on April 23, 2005, and was the world’s first taste of how online video could change consumer behavior forever. Today, YouTube attracts more than 1 billion new visitors per month, is broadcasted in 75 countries and is available in 61 different languages. Undoubtedly, those are impressive numbers for the video content giant; but perhaps even more impactful is what YouTube has done for advertisers, marketers and homegrown brand personalities turned celebrities worldwide.

The Revolution of Marketing: Online marketing efforts have shifted over the years, with more and more professionals recognizing the unique value of video. We might even say video holds the key to the future of content marketing – after all, you can’t beat its personal touch or undeniable storytelling abilities. Being the third most popular website (to Google and Facebook) in the world, in addition to the sheer number of new views it racks in per day, YouTube has changed the game in marketing and advertising. Using display ads, ‘in-video’ ads, promoted videos and channels, brands are capitalizing on these strategies, and are using YouTube as the home for engaging with consumers. YouTube has evolved into an advertising platform, a social community, a search engine and a brand advocacy generator all in one – now that’s marketing gold.

Personalities Turned Superstars: Another evolution of YouTube has been that of YouTube channels. Channels have given major, well known brands, as well as unknown, original personalities a platform to generate massive awareness. A success story we love is that of beauty blogger, Michelle Phan, who began her mega career by posting simple makeup tutorials back in 2007. Now 8 years old, Phan’s empire boasts more than 7 million subscribers and over 1 billion views. Steadfastly committed to her fans, Michelle Phan is a prime example of the potential YouTube holds for brands and celebrity hopefuls.

As we look back on YouTube’s ten years of existence, we cannot deny that it has changed the world – changed the way people interact with each other and the way brands engage consumers. It has transformed our traditional definitions of “celebrity” and has opened our minds to what it means for content to be “viral”. There seems to be a never-ending appetite for online video content these days, and YouTube has grown the landscape for it tremendously. Though there are other, perhaps stronger players emerging in the market today, YouTube has certainly made its mark. Happy 10th YouTube!

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