YouTube was founded in 2005 and is to date the most popular video website in the world, with millions of viewers worldwide; Youtube allows users to watch videos posted by persons worldwide, and to upload videos of their own. There is also a forum where users get together to share information, or get to know each other; this forum also acts as a distribution hub for creators of videos and advertisers. Youtube has collaborated with a number of social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Buzz, MySpace, Hi5, and Blogger to name a few, to make it easier for users to share video with their friends on the various social networking sites; users can also access Youtube from mobile devices.
YouTube was created by three former PayPal employees in 2005 and quickly grew in popularity to be where it is today; the founders are Steve Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim who all met during their time at PayPal. Chad and Steve were the very first members of the Youtube management team.
Chad Hurley was born in 1977 and joined PayPal while the company was in its early stages where he met Steve Chen and Jawed Karim; when he joined PayPal his intention was to enable PDA users to access PayPal and use their services. He is the designer of the PayPal logo.
Steve Chen was born in 1978 and is a Taiwanese American who was born in Taiwan but emigrated to the USA when he was eight years old; he was an early employee at Facebook but he left Facebook after a couple of months in order to start YouTube. He is currently the Chief Technology Officer at YouTube even though it has been bought by Google.
Jawed Karim was born in 1979 and moved to the USA in 1992 with his family from Germany. He left university to be an early employee of PayPal but continued his studies and earned his BSc in computer science in 2004.
In 2006, less than a year of being in operation, YouTube was purchased by Google allowing all users that have Google accounts such as Gmail to log into YouTube using their existing Google credentials. Although the company was purchased it operates as it did before with the founders holding their original positions while YouTube continues to operate independently.
YouTube uses Adobe Flash as the video codec for streaming the various clips that are uploaded by users. The video is converted after it is uploaded using automated processes and then a unique Universal Resource Locator or URL is generated for the video and attached to the user’s profile; as there have been various advances in video compression and container technology Adobe Flash now allows for HD video to be stored in an FLV (Flash Video) container and YouTube allows the users to view videos in HD if the original file was encoded in HD.
Users have to become members of YouTube in order to upload videos or to view content that is considered mature, however anyone can get on and watch unrated videos whether or not they are registered users or guests.