YouTube reaches double digits

Today, YouTube celebrates the tenth anniversary of when its first video was uploaded and who could possibly imagine a world without it? Before it became part of everyday life, I can’t even think where we went to watch (at the touch of a few clicks) silly virals, music videos at leisure, news, and other snippets of a random nature. In terms of how we view and share video content of every single kind, it’s completely changed the world.

Founded by three previous PayPal employees and acquired by Google in 2006, no one could predict the impact it would have globally. This impact hit me recently as I was walking through Covent Garden. Outside the Bare Minerals shop was a mile-long queue of teenage girls. I thought immediately, ‘which celebrity is doing an in-store appearance?’ I got closer to the shop and it was a beauty vlogger I’ve admittedly never heard of and who found fame on YouTube. Ten years ago there’s no way this would have been possible, but because of YouTube a whole new breed of internet celebrity has been created. Just one of its many impacts.

For PR professionals, it also created a completely different form of content that we need to consider for our clients. Whether it’s trade show interviews uploaded to the platform, product demonstrations, or customer testimonials, it’s served to increasingly strengthen the importance of great online video content for communicating clients’ messages. There’s no insight into a company, brand or person like that which is portrayed through a video. The digestible nature of YouTube videos and their ease of sharing also help to keep other social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter compelling, not to mention most, if not all websites.

The Next Web writes today that Facebook video is increasingly hot on YouTube’s heels as the internet’s top video sharing platform, with Facebook increasingly picking up the pace when it comes to minutes viewed per day. In the piece, Owen Williams states ‘For the first time, YouTube really needs to worry about losing its position as the king of online video’. Who knows what the future holds for YouTube? But whether others steal its crown or it continues to remain the number one online video platform, it’s the original. So here’s to many more years of the Gangnam Styles and Charlie Bit My Fingers of the world – YouTube, we salute you!

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