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History & Background Information

For many, YouTube is the first, and only, internet site to search for videos of all kinds.  Whether the video is about the political election, the daily news, a funny blooper or a missed TV episode, YouTube has it all.  More recently, educators are beginning to value the internet sites that their students have been using in their leisure time.  Educators now understand the power of the Internet and how using this new technology can be beneficial to their students.  So who created YouTube, and where did their bright ideas come from?   The Basics of YouTube will be able to explain all of this to you.

Who was the creator of YouTube?

YouTube was founded in 2005 and it all began with three co-workers who had difficulty searching for videos online.  Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim were all once employed by PayPal, until it was bought out by Google, and this is where the three met.  According to a Time Magazine article by John Cloud, the three co-founders have different recollections of where the idea of YouTube began. Karim seems to have different opinions on where the idea of YouTube originated compared to Chad and Steve.  Chad and Steve say the idea began at a dinner party where Karim was not in attendance, but Karim disagrees.  Regardless of where the idea began, all three are considered co-founders and all three are listed as co-founders on YouTube's website.1

What is the purpose of YouTube?

The purpose of YouTube is so everyday people can view and share their favorite videos.  According to Digital Ethnography, by Kansas State, as of March 18, 2008, YouTube had 17.8 million videos, and each day over 150,000 new videos are uploaded.  YouTube can have multiple purposes, whether it's to show a classroom an educational video, or to entertain your for a few hours, YouTube has any video to meet any need. 2

Where is YouTube today?

In 2006, YouTube was purchased by Google, "for $1.65 billion in a stock-for-stock transaction". 3 YouTube still operates independently from Google to keep the community that has been with YouTube from the start.  Steve and Chad are now the CEO and Chief Technology Officer of YouTube, respectively.

YouTube Terms of Use & Privacy Policy

There are 10 terms of use to consider before sharing information on YouTube.  To access some parts of YouTube, such as uploading a video, you must create an account with YouTube this allows you to have private access to your account.  Termination of an account can be determined if inappropriate information is shared through the website.  For more information please see the sites listed below, and for on Copyright issues check out our chapter How to Use YouTube.

Want More?

See what YouTube has to say about their history at

More information on YouTube's Terms of Use

More information on YouTube's Privacy Policy


[1] Cloud, J. (December 16, 2006). The Gurus of YouTube. Retrieved November 7, 2008, from,9171,1570721-1,00.html

[2] Prof Welsh, (March 18, 2008). YouTube Statistics. Retrieved November 5, 2008, from

[3] Massola, J. (October 30, 2008). Google Pays the Price to Capture Online Video Zeitgeist. Retrieved November 5, 2008, from

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