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All the world’s a screen: YouTube at ten

“The cool thing about these guys is that they have really, really, really long trunks, and that’s, that’s cool.” So said Jawed Karim, ten years ago today, in the first video uploaded to YouTube.

Only 19 seconds long, the video showed Mr Karim, one of the service’s founders, at a zoo, talking about elephants. Few could have predicted what was to come: YouTube, which was gobbled up by Google for $1.65 billion in 2006, now has more than 1 billion users worldwide; 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute.


The world is treated not only to elephants but to biting babies, countless cute cats and “Gangnam Style”, as well as higher-brow fare such as TED talks and Khan Academy tutorials. Some spotted the potential early: Barack Obama, launching his campaign for America’s presidency in 2008, was one of the first politicians to exploit it.

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