23 April 2005

The first ever YouTube video was published by user “jawed”.

The first video uploaded to YouTube, “Me at the zoo,” was posted on Saturday, April 23, 2005, at 8:27 p.m. by site co-founder Jawed Karim under the user name “jawed.” The 19-second video was shot by Yakov Lapitsky at the San Diego Zoo and shows Karim standing in front of several elephants, explaining how interesting he finds their “really, really, really long trunks.” The video, which can be seen here, currently has more than 66 million views.

According to the Los Angeles Times, “As the first video uploaded to YouTube, it played a pivotal role in fundamentally altering how people consumed media and helped usher in a golden era of the 60-second video.”

Karim met YouTube’s other co-founders, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, while the three were working at PayPal. By July 2006, more than 65,000 videos were uploaded to the site every day. In October of that same year, Google acquired YouTube for $1.65 billion in stock. In 2017, it was reported that 400 hours of new videos were uploaded every minute, and the site’s hundreds of millions of users around the world spent 1 billion hours every day watching YouTube.