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What Was The First Video On Youtube


What Was The First Video On Youtube? 

As of 2023, Youtube is well over 18 years old, and one of the most common questions people ask is, “What was the first ever video on Youtube?” 

The first video on Youtube was a trial video to see if everything worked properly after adding the video upload feature in 2005. 

As you may expect, a co-founder of the app posted the video, and it was posted exactly eight days after launching the new feature and changing its name from  “Tune In, Hook Up” to the Youtube we know today.  

The first video on Youtube has over 267 million views as of May 2023 and is the only video on the creator’s Youtube channel, with over 3.57 million subscribers. 

Who are the founders of Youtube? 

Youtube was developed in 2005 by three coworking friends who all worked for PayPal, the American financial company founded by Elon Musk. 

Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim are the ones who collaboratively created Youtube, each coming from a unique background of expertise.  

Hurley studied design at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and Chen and Karim studied computer science together at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. 

The original idea of creating Youtube was inspired by the website “Hot or Not,” as a video version of a dating app. The team even tried posting Craiglist ads asking attractive women to post videos on Youtube for $100 to help promote their idea. 

However, with some vision and significant changes, a legendary streaming service was born and was acquired by Google almost a year later for 1.65 billion dollars. 

What was the First Video on Youtube? 

The first video on Youtube was posted by Jawed Karim, the co-founder of Youtube, and is a short 18-second video of him at the Zoo. 

Captioned “If the first video was at the SD Zoo, where will the second video be? At the HD Zoo,” 

The video was in a vlog format and was shot at the San Diego Zoo, with little to no editing, scripting, or production.

In the video, Jawed says, “Okay, so we’re here with the elephants, and the cool thing about them is that they have really really long trunks. That’s it.” 

Additionally, the second video on Youtube is named “My Snowboarding Skillz” which also performed well, generating over 2.5 million likes and 21,000 likes. 

On the other hand, the second video was uploaded by a real user with only this video on his profile and is sarcastically funny as he proceeds to fall on his face. 

Although it was posted in the same year as Karim’s video, it still generates comments and engagement up to today, in 2023. 

Engagement on the first Youtube Video? 

Despite the creator making only one video and not following up on his content creation journey, Jawed generated over 11 million comments with his 18-second video. 

The video receives daily comments and likes to this day, as many are only now discovering it and looking back at the Youtube Journey with admiration for Jawed’s efforts. 

The top comments on the video are from Alan Walker, a Norwegian music producer who got over 162k likes from commenting one year ago, and San Diego Zoo, who has their comment pinned with over 2.9 million likes. 

About Karim and his career with Youtube

Karim left the Youtube Team in 2005 to pursue a graduate degree in computer science from Stanford University and was assigned 137,443 shares of Google stock when sold.

Since leaving Youtube, Karim has become a vocal critic of Youtube and how it is being altered and updated to something he would disapprove of.

Today, Karim’s Video is being used to inform and update users on his thoughts about “The New Youtube.” 

In November 2021, Karim changed the description of the very first video to  “When all YouTubers agree that removing dislikes is a stupid idea, it probably is.”

What Karim and his friends would’ve done with Youtube, and if it would make it as big as it is today, is unknown, but Google’s plan seems like it’s working, as the platform has changed many lives.  


Youtube’s first video was simply a test of the video upload feature one week after launching the streaming service, and it was the team’s first step after changing its name to Youtube. 

“Me at the Zoo” gets views and engagements daily and will remain a historical piece of content to embrace how far the streaming service has come. 

Ultimately, the first video on Youtube started many new careers and made Jawed Karim the first Youtuber to exist, and we’re very thankful for it.

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David Adler is an entrepreneur and freelance blog post writer who enjoys writing about business, entrepreneurship, travel and the influencer marketing space.

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