YouTube is a video sharing service that allows users to watch videos posted by other users and upload videos of their own. The service was started as an independent website in 2005 and was acquired by Google in 2006. Videos that have been uploaded to YouTube may appear on the YouTube website and can also be posted on other websites, though the files are hosted on the YouTube server.
The slogan of the YouTube website is "Broadcast Yourself." This implies the YouTube service is designed primarily for ordinary people who want to publish videos they have created. While several companies and organizations also use YouTube to promote their business, the vast majority of YouTube videos are created and uploaded by amateurs.
YouTube videos are posted by people from all over the world, from all types of backgrounds. Therefore, there is a wide range of videos available on YouTube. Some examples include amateur films, homemade music videos, sports bloopers, and other funny events caught on video. People also use YouTube to post instructional videos, such as step-by-step computer help, do-it-yourself guides, and other how-to videos. Since Google offers revenue sharing for advertisement clicks generated on video pages, some users have been able to turn YouTube into a profitable enterprise.
While YouTube can serve a business platform, most people simply visit YouTube for fun. Since so many people carry digital cameras or cell phones with video recording capability, more events are now captured on video than ever before. While this has created an abundant collection of entertaining videos, it also means that people should be aware that whatever they do in public might be caught on video. And if something is recorded on video, it just might end up on YouTube for the whole world to see.
Updated: October 7, 2009