YouTube is an American online video sharing and social media platform created by Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim on February 14, 2005. As per Statista, YouTube holds the title for the second most visited website after Google, which also happens to be YouTube’s parent company after it completed the purchase of the website for $1.65 billion in October 2006.
YouTube currently averages about 2.5 billion users per month with users consuming up to one billion hours of videos every single day. The most recent data suggests that every single minute, 500 hours of video content is uploaded to the popular platform.
Since its acquisition by Google, YouTube has expanded its presence beyond the highly popular core website into mobile apps, network television, and the ability to link with other platforms. As recently as last year, YouTube has announced new features like YouTube Shorts and Live Streaming to help it compete against the growing user base of TikTok, as well as other popular streaming websites like Twitch.TV and Facebook Live.
Video categories on YouTube include but are not limited to music videos, gaming videos, reaction videos, beauty videos, prank videos, comedy videos, educational videos, animated videos, commentaries, anime videos, art videos, short films, feature films, documentaries, live streams, and vlogs, among many others.
One cannot deny the unprecedented impact YouTube has had on society in general in terms of influencing pop culture, internet trends and creating multimillionaire celebrities practically overnight. Despite all of its massive success and raging popularity, the most popular video-sharing platform has often found itself in the crosshairs of the public because of its ability to spread misinformation, its repeated violations of its users' privacy, its vehement censorship practices, and for the multitude of copyright issues it spawns.
Since 2016, YouTube has most notably diversified its presence into YouTube Kids, YouTube Movies, YouTube Music, YouTube Shorts, YouTube Stories, YouTube Premium, and YouTube TV.