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YouTube turns six - but have you seen its first ever video?

The very first video on YouTube was just 19 seconds long – and shows a co-founder of the site visiting the zoo.

IT’S DIFFICULT NOWADAYS to think of an era of online video streaming before YouTube – when a simple site decided to give users the chance to upload videos and allow them to be watched on the web by pretty much anyone.

YouTube’s major single asset was the fact that videos could be viewed through a web page itself, without needing to embed a video or require the user to fire up another heavy-going media player like RealPlayer, QuickTime or Windows Media Player.

Such was the speed with which the site took off that only 18 months after its first video was uploaded, the site was taken over by Google in a deal that netted its creators $1.65 billion worth of Google shares – which are worth over $2bn at current prices.

The first video was loaded in the late hours of Saturday 23 April, 2005 (which, technically, was April 24 in Ireland’s time zone), and shows one of the site’s three founders, Jawed Karim, visiting the elephant pen at the San Diego Zoo.

What have we learned? Well, that streaming videos is a lucrative business – but also, apparently, that elephant’s trunks are “really, really long”.

About the author:

Gavan Reilly

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