If the popularity of YouTube, and its rise to becoming an online nation is any indication of at least one thing, it is that humans are, by nature, very social creatures. There has been a constant demand for a more seamless way for people to connect with one another, and with the coming of the digital age, that need has expanded far beyond physical communication. The Internet is a vast outlet for these connections, and has allowed for a seemingly infinite number of thoughts, ideas, emotions, and data to be spread across the globe, largely by way of social media. With such a willing and eager collection of individuals looking to share and observe at every possible moment, it is only natural that YouTube would take its place as a highly successful answer to the desire set forth by the masses.
YouTube is a website that provides a free and open video hosting service to any user who signs up for account, and unregistered users can enjoy videos uploaded by others. These hosted videos serve as a way to share and distribute content within the website’s interface, and upon being uploaded, videos can be shared instantly with anyone around the world. The company was launched on February 14, 2005, by three former employees of the international e-commerce corporation known as PayPal. In November of 2006, the then 18-month-old company was acquired by Google for $1.65 billion, and the site now sees over 1 billion unique user visits per month. YouTube offers the appeal of both an immediate access to content and ease of use across both desktop and mobile platforms.
Another feature directly responsible for the popularity behind such a service is the sheer diversity of the user-generated content available, which is where the online nation of YouTube shines. With 100 hours of video being uploaded every minute, the potential for unique content is virtually infinite, and users view over 6 billion hours of video on a monthly basis. This video content ranges from music videos and educational presentations to television shows and even video blogs. There is a mix of both user-generated content and material provided by media corporations such as CNN, Vevo, and Hulu.
YouTube has become an outlet for many people who previously searched for a way to express themselves in a unique and unhindered fashion. The online nation of YouTube closely resembles the nations of the world, and pieces of diversity can be seen among the countless of videos that exist within the site. Through its partnership program, YouTube has allowed millions of people to monetize their channels through marketing advertisements, merchandise, and paid subscriptions to their viewers.
This system has made it possible for individuals to earn an income pursing their dreams, and sharing the personal visions of their life with the world, establishing a loyal followings of national viewers in the process. Many have also gone on to receive worldwide recognition for talents or skills that would have previously gone unnoticed had not a video recorded on a cellphone gone viral and been seen by the right person. With such a robust community that encourage people to express themselves and gain acceptance just for being who they are, it is easy to foresee a long and exciting lifespan for YouTube, the online nation, and its billions of dedicated users.
By Darrell Purcell