YouTube has hit a billion regular monthly visitors. Such milestone, also reached by Facebook last October, further solidifies Cisco’s projected dominance of video in the cyberspace. “If YouTube were a country, we’d be the third largest in the world after China and India,” the company said in a blogpost announcing it now has a billion unique visitors every month. “Nearly one out of every two people on the internet visits YouTube.”
Launched in February 2005, a year after Facebook, YouTube operated from a small office above a fast-food restaurant in San Mateo, California. With a tagline of “Broadcast yourself” it provided a new way for internet users to upload and distribute their video online. This groundbreaking phenomenon sparked a boom in user-generated content and paved the way to social media.
By October 2006, YouTube and its 67 staff had already attracted a loyal audience of 34 million monthly visitors who watched 100 million clips every day. Google bought YouTube for US$1.65 billion in November 2006 and since then it has been a subsidiary of the search engine company.
YouTube was founded by three genius young men: Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim, whose mother is a German and father is from Bangladesh. Jawed Karim was one of the three beneficiaries of US$1.65 billion from Google. And he was only 27 at that time. Yet the huge windfall could not divert his focus from education.
“I’m impressed that given his success in business he decided to do the master’s program here,” Prof. David L. Dill, of computer science at Stanford told New York Times. “The tradition here has been in the other direction,” he said, pointing to the founders of Google and Yahoo, who left Stanford for the business world.
It is needless to elaborate the diverse users, applications and impact of YouTube in today’s world. But I must refer to the accomplishment of another Bangladeshi genius, who has revolutionized education through YouTube. Yes, it’s the Khan Academy of Salman Khan.
My repeated reference to Bangladeshi talents pertaining to YouTube is attributed to the authorities keeping this invaluable video-site blocked for more than six months due to one obscure stupid video clip. As a result, Bangladesh remains precluded from YouTube’s celebration of billion users worldwide. Sad!