YouTube: one of modern online cultures biggest contributors, shaping what’s popular and what’s not.

Its funny to think that YouTube was invented 9 years ago by 3 former PayPal employees and depending on whom you believe, were trying to find a video of Janet Jacksons 2005 superbowl halftime show incident, the Asian tsunami disaster or more boringly sharing pictures at a dinner party [1]. Since then it has become one of the most used and visited websites on the net currently 3rd [2] in the world. The sale of YouTube to the most popular website in the world for $1.65 billion, shows even back in the early days of “high speed” Internet in 2006, the potential for the website to become a new form of social media [3].


[4] the front page of YouTube.

Anyone registered on the site can upload a video, be it of themselves, something they have recorded or simply another clip found somewhere on the web. The site has made heroes and villains, given now celebrities (such as Justin Bieber) their first audience and allowed a common person express themselves to the few. These days all it takes is a simple camera phone, and the ease to share videos with the world has made it possible to watch almost anything form anywhere in the world, no matter how weird it might be sometimes. It can be considered one of the leading social medias of today, if you stop to think its not hard to understand why this is, almost all other social media website and even television relying on “sharing” YouTube’s videos and many other website linking clips of last nights goal or new viral video to its own users.

The ability to customise your own profile, subscribe to friends and other accounts for the latest updates, send messages, like/dislike, comment and of course upload your own videos and crate playlist of your favorite videos it is more similar to the likes of Facebook and Twitter than most people would think. Even though some of the comments can be moronic and at worst racist people can express themselves on the website, sometime even to the entertainment of other users.

Myself I can’t imagine where I’d be without YouTube, I’ve almost grown up with it, seems like YouTube has been here since the creation of the Internet. Even while writing this I’m listening to music and it’s almost impossible to scroll through my Twitter and Facebook account with out being bombarded by videos form the site. The ability to make playlists of your favorite videos make it extremely handy for listening to music and most parties will have speakers hooked up to YouTube music videos it almost impossible to think what it would be like without this leader in the modern internet age.

Screen Shot 2014-02-15 at 6.55.38 PM

[5] A common view on Facebook, with plenty of links to YouTube videos.

I think its fair to say from its humble and simple beginnings YouTube has become one of the most influential websites on the Internet. Regardless if you like it or not its here to stay, embarrassing people, shooting them to fame, managing our own interests, seeing mindless argument in comments and proving what’s popular and not it is almost a completely necessary tool in todays society.

-Aodh Maguire


  1. 81 Revealing Facts About . . .YouTube, random history, accessed 13/2/2014,
  2. Alexa youtube popularity data, Alexa, accessed 13/2/2014
  3. Google buys YouTube for $1.65 billion, NBC news, accessed 13/2/2014,
  4. Image of the front page of youtube, Snowden leaks: GCHQ ‘spied on Facebook and YouTube’, accessed 15/2/2014
  5. Screenshot from my own Facebook page.

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