YouTube

YouTube

Overview
YouTube is a video-sharing
Video hosting service
A video hosting service allows individuals to upload video clips to an Internet website. The video host will then store the video on its server, and show the individual different types of code to allow others to view this video...

 website, created by three former PayPal
PayPal
PayPal is an American-based global e-commerce business allowing payments and money transfers to be made through the Internet. Online money transfers serve as electronic alternatives to paying with traditional paper methods, such as checks and money orders....

 employees in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos.

The company is based in San Bruno, California
San Bruno, California
San Bruno is a city in San Mateo County, California, United States. The population was 41,114 at the 2010 census.The city is adjacent to San Francisco International Airport and Golden Gate National Cemetery.-Geography:San Bruno is located at...

, and uses Adobe Flash Video and HTML5 technology to display a wide variety of user-generated
User-generated content
User generated content covers a range of media content available in a range of modern communications technologies. It entered mainstream usage during 2005 having arisen in web publishing and new media content production circles...

 video content, including movie clips
Video clip
Video clips are short clips of video, usually part of a longer recording. The term is also more loosely used to mean any short video less than the length of a traditional television program.- On the Internet :...

, TV clips, and music videos, as well as amateur content such as video blogging and short original videos.
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Encyclopedia
YouTube is a video-sharing
Video hosting service
A video hosting service allows individuals to upload video clips to an Internet website. The video host will then store the video on its server, and show the individual different types of code to allow others to view this video...

 website, created by three former PayPal
PayPal
PayPal is an American-based global e-commerce business allowing payments and money transfers to be made through the Internet. Online money transfers serve as electronic alternatives to paying with traditional paper methods, such as checks and money orders....

 employees in February 2005, on which users can upload, view and share videos.

The company is based in San Bruno, California
San Bruno, California
San Bruno is a city in San Mateo County, California, United States. The population was 41,114 at the 2010 census.The city is adjacent to San Francisco International Airport and Golden Gate National Cemetery.-Geography:San Bruno is located at...

, and uses Adobe Flash Video and HTML5 technology to display a wide variety of user-generated
User-generated content
User generated content covers a range of media content available in a range of modern communications technologies. It entered mainstream usage during 2005 having arisen in web publishing and new media content production circles...

 video content, including movie clips
Video clip
Video clips are short clips of video, usually part of a longer recording. The term is also more loosely used to mean any short video less than the length of a traditional television program.- On the Internet :...

, TV clips, and music videos, as well as amateur content such as video blogging and short original videos. Most of the content on YouTube has been uploaded by individuals, although media corporations including CBS
CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

, BBC
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

, VEVO
Vevo
Vevo is a music video website. It is a joint venture among Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, and Abu Dhabi Media with EMI licensing its content to the group without taking an ownership stake. The service was launched officially on December 8, 2009...

, Hulu
Hulu
Hulu is a website and over-the-top subscription service offering ad-supported on-demand streaming video of TV shows, movies, webisodes and other new media, trailers, clips, and behind-the-scenes footage from NBC, Fox, ABC, and Obstacle on October 20th 2011 Nickelodeon and CBS and many other...

, and other organizations offer some of their material via the site, as part of the YouTube partnership program.

Unregistered users may watch videos, and registered users may upload an unlimited number of videos. Videos that are considered to contain potentially offensive content are available only to registered users 18 years old and older.

In November 2006, YouTube, LLC was bought by Google Inc.
Google
Google Inc. is an American multinational public corporation invested in Internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products, and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program...

 for US$1.65 billion, and now operates as a subsidiary
Subsidiary
A subsidiary company, subsidiary, or daughter company is a company that is completely or partly owned and wholly controlled by another company that owns more than half of the subsidiary's stock. The subsidiary can be a company, corporation, or limited liability company. In some cases it is a...

 of Google.

Company history


YouTube was founded by Chad Hurley
Chad Hurley
Chad Meredith Hurley is an American co-founder and former Chief Executive Officer of the popular video sharing website YouTube. In June 2006, he was voted 28th on Business 2.0's "50 People Who Matter Now" list...

, Steve Chen
Steve Chen
Steve Chen is a computer engineer and pioneer. Chen is the founder and CEO of , a developer of supercomputing blade systems, based in Shenzhen, China....

, and Jawed Karim
Jawed Karim
Jawed Karim is a Bangladeshi German American technologist and co-founder of the popular video sharing website YouTube...

, who were all early employees of PayPal
PayPal
PayPal is an American-based global e-commerce business allowing payments and money transfers to be made through the Internet. Online money transfers serve as electronic alternatives to paying with traditional paper methods, such as checks and money orders....

. Hurley had studied design at Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Indiana University of Pennsylvania is a public university in Indiana County, Pennsylvania, USA. The university is northeast of Pittsburgh. It is the largest university in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and is the commonwealth's fifth largest university...

, while Chen and Karim studied computer science
Computer science
Computer science or computing science is the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and of practical techniques for their implementation and application in computer systems...

 together at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
The University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign is a large public research-intensive university in the state of Illinois, United States. It is the flagship campus of the University of Illinois system...

.

According to a story that has often been repeated in the media, Hurley and Chen developed the idea for YouTube during the early months of 2005, after they had experienced difficulty sharing videos that had been shot at a dinner party at Chen's apartment in San Francisco. Karim did not attend the party and denied that it had occurred, while Hurley commented that the idea that YouTube was founded after a dinner party "was probably very strengthened by marketing ideas around creating a story that was very digestible".

YouTube began as a venture-funded technology startup, primarily from a $11.5 million investment by Sequoia Capital
Sequoia Capital
Sequoia Capital is a Californian venture capital firm located on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, California. The Wall Street Journal has called Sequoia Capital "one of the highest-caliber venture firms", and noted that it is "one of Silicon Valley's most influential venture-capital firms"...

 between November 2005 and April 2006. YouTube's early headquarters were situated above a pizzeria and Japanese restaurant in San Mateo, California
San Mateo, California
San Mateo is a city in San Mateo County, California, United States, in the San Francisco Bay Area. With a population of approximately 100,000 , it is one of the larger suburbs on the San Francisco Peninsula, located between Burlingame to the north, Foster City to the east, Belmont to the south,...

. The domain name
Domain name
A domain name is an identification string that defines a realm of administrative autonomy, authority, or control in the Internet. Domain names are formed by the rules and procedures of the Domain Name System ....

 www.youtube.com was activated on February 14, 2005, and the website was developed over the subsequent months.

The first YouTube video was entitled Me at the zoo
Me at the zoo
Me at the zoo is the first video ever to be uploaded to YouTube. It was uploaded at 8:27 pm on Saturday, April 23, 2005 by Jawed Karim, one of the co-founders of the site, under the username "jawed"...

, and shows founder Jawed Karim at the San Diego Zoo
San Diego Zoo
The San Diego Zoo in Balboa Park, San Diego, California, is one of the most progressive zoos in the world, with over 4,000 animals of more than 800 species...

. The video was uploaded on April 23, 2005, and can still be viewed on the site.

YouTube offered the public a beta test of the site in May 2005, six months before the official launch in November 2005. The site grew rapidly, and in July 2006 the company announced that more than 65,000 new videos were being uploaded every day, and that the site was receiving 100 million video views per day. According to data published by market research
Market research
Market research is any organized effort to gather information about markets or customers. It is a very important component of business strategy...

 company comScore
ComScore
comScore is a Internet marketing research company providing marketing data and services to many of the Internet's largest businesses. comScore tracks all internet data on its surveyed computers in order to study online behavior....

, YouTube is the dominant provider of online video in the United States, with a market share
Market share
Market share is the percentage of a market accounted for by a specific entity. In a survey of nearly 200 senior marketing managers, 67 percent responded that they found the "dollar market share" metric very useful, while 61% found "unit market share" very useful.Marketers need to be able to...

 of around 43 percent and more than 14 billion videos viewed in May 2010. YouTube says that over 48 hours of new videos are uploaded to the site every minute, and that around three quarters of the material comes from outside the US. It is estimated that in 2007 YouTube consumed as much bandwidth
Bandwidth (computing)
In computer networking and computer science, bandwidth, network bandwidth, data bandwidth, or digital bandwidth is a measure of available or consumed data communication resources expressed in bits/second or multiples of it .Note that in textbooks on wireless communications, modem data transmission,...

 as the entire Internet in 2000. Alexa
Alexa Internet
Alexa Internet, Inc. is a California-based subsidiary company of Amazon.com that is known for its toolbar and Web site. Once installed, the toolbar collects data on browsing behavior which is transmitted to the Web site where it is stored and analyzed and is the basis for the company's Web traffic...

 ranks YouTube as the third most visited website on the Internet, behind Google
Google
Google Inc. is an American multinational public corporation invested in Internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products, and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program...

 and Facebook
Facebook
Facebook is a social networking service and website launched in February 2004, operated and privately owned by Facebook, Inc. , Facebook has more than 800 million active users. Users must register before using the site, after which they may create a personal profile, add other users as...

.

The choice of the name www.youtube.com led to problems for a similarly named website, www.utube.com. The owner of the site, Universal Tube & Rollform Equipment
Universal Tube & Rollform Equipment
Universal Tube & Rollform Equipment Corporation is an American manufacturer and supplier of metal machine tubes and pipes, founded in 1985. The company specializes in buying and selling tube mills, pipe mills and rollforming machines...

, filed a lawsuit against YouTube in November 2006 after being overloaded on a regular basis by people looking for YouTube. Universal Tube has since changed the name of its website to www.utubeonline.com. In October 2006, Google Inc.
Google
Google Inc. is an American multinational public corporation invested in Internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products, and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program...

 announced that it had acquired YouTube for $1.65 billion in Google stock
Stock
The capital stock of a business entity represents the original capital paid into or invested in the business by its founders. It serves as a security for the creditors of a business since it cannot be withdrawn to the detriment of the creditors...

, and the deal was finalized on November 13, 2006. Google does not provide detailed figures for YouTube's running costs, and YouTube's revenues in 2007 were noted as "not material" in a regulatory filing. In June 2008, a Forbes
Forbes
Forbes is an American publishing and media company. Its flagship publication, the Forbes magazine, is published biweekly. Its primary competitors in the national business magazine category are Fortune, which is also published biweekly, and Business Week...

magazine article projected the 2008 revenue at $200 million, noting progress in advertising sales.

In November 2008, YouTube reached an agreement with MGM, Lions Gate Entertainment
Lions Gate Entertainment
Lions Gate Entertainment Corporation is a North American entertainment company. The company was formed in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1997, and is headquartered in Santa Monica, California...

, and CBS
CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

, allowing the companies to post full-length films and television episodes on the site, accompanied by advertisements in a section for US viewers called "Shows". The move was intended to create competition with websites such as Hulu
Hulu
Hulu is a website and over-the-top subscription service offering ad-supported on-demand streaming video of TV shows, movies, webisodes and other new media, trailers, clips, and behind-the-scenes footage from NBC, Fox, ABC, and Obstacle on October 20th 2011 Nickelodeon and CBS and many other...

, which features material from NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

, Fox
Fox Broadcasting Company
Fox Broadcasting Company, commonly referred to as Fox Network or simply Fox , is an American commercial broadcasting television network owned by Fox Entertainment Group, part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation. Launched on October 9, 1986, Fox was the highest-rated broadcast network in the...

, and Disney. In November 2009, YouTube launched a version of "Shows" available to UK viewers, offering around 4,000 full-length shows from more than 60 partners. In January 2010, YouTube introduced an online film rentals service, which is currently available only to users in the US, Canada and the UK. The service offers over 6,000 films.

In March 2010, YouTube began free streaming of certain content, including 60 cricket matches of the Indian Premier League
Indian Premier League
The Indian Premier League is a professional league for Twenty20 cricket competition in India. It was initiated by the Board of Control for Cricket in India , headquartered in Mumbai, and is supervised by BCCI Vice President Rajeev Shukla, who serves as the league's Chairman and Commissioner...

. According to YouTube, this was the first worldwide free online broadcast of a major sporting event.

On March 31, 2010, the YouTube website launched a new design, with the aim of simplifying the interface and increasing the time users spend on the site. Google product manager Shiva Rajaraman commented: "We really felt like we needed to step back and remove the clutter." In May 2010, it was reported that YouTube was serving more than two billion videos a day, which it described as "nearly double the prime-time audience of all three major US television networks combined". In May 2011, YouTube reported in its company blog that the site was receiving more than three billion views per day.

In October 2010, Hurley announced that he would be stepping down as chief executive officer of YouTube to take an advisory role, and that Salar Kamangar
Salar Kamangar
Salar Kamangar is CEO of YouTube and Senior Vice President of Video at Google.Kamangar was Google's 9th employee.-Early childhood and education:...

 would take over as head of the company.

In April 2011, James Zern, a YouTube software engineer, revealed that 30 percent of videos accounted for 99 percent of views on the site.

Since July 2011, YouTube has been testing a new interface for the site called "Cosmic Panda". This features a dark gray background for the video playback area, and a redesign of the site's logo with a darker shade of red. In November 2011, the Google+
Google+
Google+ is a social networking and identity service, operated by Google Inc.The service was launched on June 28, 2011, in an invite-only "field testing" phase. The following day, existing users were allowed to invite friends who were over 18 years of age to the service to create their own accounts....

 social networking site was integrated directly with YouTube and the Chrome
Google Chrome
Google Chrome is a web browser developed by Google that uses the WebKit layout engine. It was first released as a beta version for Microsoft Windows on September 2, 2008, and the public stable release was on December 11, 2008. The name is derived from the graphical user interface frame, or...

 web browser, allowing YouTube videos to be viewed from within the Google+ interface.

Playback


Viewing YouTube videos on a personal computer requires the Adobe Flash Player
Adobe Flash Player
The Adobe Flash Player is software for viewing multimedia, Rich Internet Applications and streaming video and audio, on a computer web browser or on supported mobile devices. Flash Player runs SWF files that can be created by the Adobe Flash authoring tool, by Adobe Flex or by a number of other...

 plug-in to be installed on the browser
Web browser
A web browser is a software application for retrieving, presenting, and traversing information resources on the World Wide Web. An information resource is identified by a Uniform Resource Identifier and may be a web page, image, video, or other piece of content...

. The Adobe Flash Player plug-in is one of the most common pieces of software installed on personal computers and accounts for almost 75% of online video material.

In January 2010, YouTube launched an experimental version of the site that uses the built-in multimedia capabilities of web browsers supporting the HTML5 standard. This allows videos to be viewed without requiring Adobe Flash Player
Adobe Flash Player
The Adobe Flash Player is software for viewing multimedia, Rich Internet Applications and streaming video and audio, on a computer web browser or on supported mobile devices. Flash Player runs SWF files that can be created by the Adobe Flash authoring tool, by Adobe Flex or by a number of other...

 or any other plug-in to be installed. The YouTube site has a page that allows supported browsers to opt in to the HTML5 trial. Only browsers that support HTML5 Video using the H.264
H.264/MPEG-4 AVC
H.264/MPEG-4 Part 10 or AVC is a standard for video compression, and is currently one of the most commonly used formats for the recording, compression, and distribution of high definition video...

 or WebM
WebM
WebM is an audio-video format designed to provide a royalty-free, open video compression format for use with HTML5 video. The project's development is sponsored by Google....

 formats can play the videos, and not all videos on the site are available.

Uploading


All YouTube users can upload videos up to 15 minutes in duration. Users who have a good track record of complying with the site's Community Guidelines may be offered the ability to upload videos of unlimited length, which requires verifying the account, normally through a mobile phone
Mobile phone
A mobile phone is a device which can make and receive telephone calls over a radio link whilst moving around a wide geographic area. It does so by connecting to a cellular network provided by a mobile network operator...

. When YouTube was launched in 2005, it was possible to upload long videos, but a ten-minute limit was introduced in March 2006 after YouTube found that the majority of videos exceeding this length were unauthorized uploads of television shows and films. The 10-minute limit was increased to 15 minutes in July 2010. File size is limited to 2 GB
Gigabyte
The gigabyte is a multiple of the unit byte for digital information storage. The prefix giga means 109 in the International System of Units , therefore 1 gigabyte is...

 for uploads from YouTube web page, and to 20 GB if Java
Java (programming language)
Java is a programming language originally developed by James Gosling at Sun Microsystems and released in 1995 as a core component of Sun Microsystems' Java platform. The language derives much of its syntax from C and C++ but has a simpler object model and fewer low-level facilities...

-based Advanced Uploader is used.

YouTube accepts videos uploaded in most container formats, including .AVI
Audio Video Interleave
Audio Video Interleave , known by its acronym AVI, is a multimedia container format introduced by Microsoft in November 1992 as part of its Video for Windows technology. AVI files can contain both audio and video data in a file container that allows synchronous audio-with-video playback...

, .MKV
Matroska
The Matroska Multimedia Container is an open standard free container format, a file format that can hold an unlimited number of video, audio, picture or subtitle tracks in one file. It is intended to serve as a universal format for storing common multimedia content, like movies or TV shows...

, .MOV
QuickTime
QuickTime is an extensible proprietary multimedia framework developed by Apple Inc., capable of handling various formats of digital video, picture, sound, panoramic images, and interactivity. The classic version of QuickTime is available for Windows XP and later, as well as Mac OS X Leopard and...

, .MP4
MPEG-4 Part 14
MPEG-4 Part 14 or MP4 is a multimedia container format standard specified as a part of MPEG-4. It is most commonly used to store digital video and digital audio streams, especially those defined by MPEG, but can also be used to store other data such as subtitles and still images...

, DivX
DivX
DivX is a brand name of products created by DivX, Inc. , including the DivX Codec which has become popular due to its ability to compress lengthy video segments into small sizes while maintaining relatively high visual quality.There are two DivX codecs; the regular MPEG-4 Part 2 DivX codec and the...

, .FLV, and .ogg and .ogv
Theora
Theora is a free lossy video compression format. It is developed by the Xiph.Org Foundation and distributed without licensing fees alongside their other free and open media projects, including the Vorbis audio format and the Ogg container....

. These include video formats such as MPEG-4
MPEG-4
MPEG-4 is a method of defining compression of audio and visual digital data. It was introduced in late 1998 and designated a standard for a group of audio and video coding formats and related technology agreed upon by the ISO/IEC Moving Picture Experts Group under the formal standard ISO/IEC...

, MPEG
Moving Picture Experts Group
The Moving Picture Experts Group is a working group of experts that was formed by ISO and IEC to set standards for audio and video compression and transmission. It was established in 1988 by the initiative of Hiroshi Yasuda and Leonardo Chiariglione, who has been from the beginning the Chairman...

, VOB
VOB
A VOB file is a container format in DVD-Video media. VOB can contain video, audio, subtitle, menu and navigation contents multiplexed together into a stream form. VOB is based on the MPEG program stream format, but with additional limitations and specifications in the private streams...

, and .WMV
Windows Media Video
'Windows Media Video is a video compression format for several proprietary codecs developed by Microsoft. The original video format, known as WMV, was originally designed for Internet streaming applications, as a competitor to RealVideo. The other formats, such as WMV Screen and WMV Image, cater...

. It also supports 3GP
3GP
3GP is a multimedia container format defined by the Third Generation Partnership Project for 3G UMTS multimedia services. It is used on 3G mobile phones but can also be played on some 2G and 4G phones....

, allowing videos to be uploaded from mobile phone
Mobile phone
A mobile phone is a device which can make and receive telephone calls over a radio link whilst moving around a wide geographic area. It does so by connecting to a cellular network provided by a mobile network operator...

s. Videos with progressive scan
Progressive scan
Progressive scanning is a way of displaying, storing, or transmitting moving images in which all the lines of each frame are drawn in sequence...

ning or interlaced scanning can be uploaded, but for the best video quality, YouTube prefers interlaced videos to be deinterlaced
Deinterlacing
Deinterlacing is the process of converting interlaced video, such as common analog television signals or 1080i format HDTV signals, into a non-interlaced form....

 prior to uploading. All the video formats on YouTube use progressive scanning.

Quality and codecs


YouTube originally offered videos at only one quality level, displayed at a resolution of 320x240 pixel
Pixel
In digital imaging, a pixel, or pel, is a single point in a raster image, or the smallest addressable screen element in a display device; it is the smallest unit of picture that can be represented or controlled....

s using the Sorenson Spark
Sorenson codec
Sorenson codec may refer to either of three proprietary video codecs: Sorenson Video, Sorenson Video 3 or Sorenson Spark. Sorenson Video is also known as Sorenson Video Codec, Sorenson Video Quantizer or SVQ...

 codec (a variant of H.263
H.263
H.263 is a video compression standard originally designed as a low-bitrate compressed format for videoconferencing. It was developed by the ITU-T Video Coding Experts Group in a project ending in 1995/1996 as one member of the H.26x family of video coding standards in the domain of the ITU-T.H.263...

), with mono
Monaural
Monaural or monophonic sound reproduction is single-channel. Typically there is only one microphone, one loudspeaker, or channels are fed from a common signal path...

 MP3
MP3
MPEG-1 or MPEG-2 Audio Layer III, more commonly referred to as MP3, is a patented digital audio encoding format using a form of lossy data compression...

 audio. In June 2007, YouTube added an option to watch videos in 3GP format on mobile phones. In March 2008, a high quality mode was added, which increased the resolution to 480x360 pixels In November 2008, 720p
720p
720p is the shorthand name for 1280x720, a category of High-definition television video modes having a resolution of 1080 or 720p and a progressive scan...

 HD
High-definition video
High-definition video or HD video refers to any video system of higher resolution than standard-definition video, and most commonly involves display resolutions of 1,280×720 pixels or 1,920×1,080 pixels...

 support was added. At the time of the 720p launch, the YouTube player was changed from a 4:3 aspect ratio
Aspect ratio
The aspect ratio of a shape is the ratio of its longer dimension to its shorter dimension. It may be applied to two characteristic dimensions of a three-dimensional shape, such as the ratio of the longest and shortest axis, or for symmetrical objects that are described by just two measurements,...

 to a widescreen
Widescreen
Widescreen images are a variety of aspect ratios used in film, television and computer screens. In film, a widescreen film is any film image with a width-to-height aspect ratio greater than the standard 1.37:1 Academy aspect ratio provided by 35mm film....

 16:9
16:9
16:9 is an aspect ratio with a width of 16 units and height of 9. Since 2009, it has become the most common aspect ratio for sold televisions and computer monitors and is also the international standard format of HDTV, Full HD, non-HD digital television and analog widescreen television ...

. With this new feature, YouTube began a switchover to H.264/MPEG-4 AVC
H.264/MPEG-4 AVC
H.264/MPEG-4 Part 10 or AVC is a standard for video compression, and is currently one of the most commonly used formats for the recording, compression, and distribution of high definition video...

 as its default video compression format. In November 2009, 1080p
1080p
1080p is the shorthand identification for a set of HDTV high-definition video modes that are characterized by 1080 horizontal lines of resolution and progressive scan, meaning the image is not interlaced as is the case with the 1080i display standard....

 HD support was added. In July 2010, YouTube announced that it had launched a range of videos in 4K
4K resolution
4K is an emerging standard for resolution in digital film and computer graphics. The name comes from its approximately 4,000 pixels of horizontal resolution. The fact that it describes the horizontal resolution is contrary to the standard resolutions 720p and 1080p, which represent the number of...

 format, which allows a resolution of up to 4096x3072 pixels.

YouTube videos are available in a range of quality levels. The former names of standard quality (SQ), high quality (HQ) and high definition (HD) have been replaced by numerical values representing the vertical resolution of the video. The default video stream is encoded in H.264/MPEG-4 AVC
H.264/MPEG-4 AVC
H.264/MPEG-4 Part 10 or AVC is a standard for video compression, and is currently one of the most commonly used formats for the recording, compression, and distribution of high definition video...

 format, with stereo AAC
Advanced Audio Coding
Advanced Audio Coding is a standardized, lossy compression and encoding scheme for digital audio. Designed to be the successor of the MP3 format, AAC generally achieves better sound quality than MP3 at similar bit rates....

 audio.
Comparison of YouTube media encoding options
fmt value 5 6 34 35 18 22 37 38 83 82 85 84 43 44 45 100 101 46 102 13 17
Default container FLV MP4 WebM 3GP
Video Encoding Sorenson H.263 MPEG-4 AVC (H.264) VP8 MPEG-4 Visual
Profile Main Baseline High 3D 3D
Resolution progressive 224p 270p 360p 480p 360p 720p 1080p 2304p 240p 360p 520p 720p 360p 480p 720p 1080p 360p 480p 540p 720p
Resolution VGA WQVGA HVGA nHD FWVGA nHD WXGA WUXGA HXGA - nHD FWVGA WXGA WUXGA
Max width (pixels) 400 480 640 854 640 1280 1920 4096 854 640 1920 1280 640 854 1280 1920 640 854 1920 1280 176
Max height (pixels) 240 270 360 480 360 720 1080 3072 240 360 520 720 360 480 720 1080 360 480 540 720 144
Bitrate (Mbit/s) 0.25 0.8 0.5 0.8–1 0.5 2–2.9 3.5–5 0.5 2-2.9 0.5 1 2 0.5 2
Audio Encoding MP3 AAC Vorbis AAC
Channels 1–2 2 (stereo) 1
Sampling rate (Hz) 22050 44100 22050
Bitrate (kbit/s) 64 128 128 96 152 96 152 128 192 128 192


1 fmt was an undocumented URL parameter that allowed selecting YouTube quality mode without using player user interface. Since December 2010, this parameter is no longer supported.

2 Approximate values based on statistical data; actual bitrate can be higher or lower due to variable encoding rate.

3D videos


In a video posted on July 21, 2009, YouTube software engineer Peter Bradshaw announced that YouTube users can now upload 3D videos
3-D film
A 3-D film or S3D film is a motion picture that enhances the illusion of depth perception...

. The videos can be viewed in several different ways, including the common anaglyph
Anaglyph image
Anaglyph images are used to provide a stereoscopic 3D effect, when viewed with glasses where the two lenses are different colors, such as red and cyan. Images are made up of two color layers, superimposed, but offset with respect to each other to produce a depth effect...

 (cyan/red lens) method which utilizes glasses worn by the viewer to achieve the 3D effect. The YouTube Flash
Adobe Flash
Adobe Flash is a multimedia platform used to add animation, video, and interactivity to web pages. Flash is frequently used for advertisements, games and flash animations for broadcast...

 player can display stereoscopic content interleaved in rows, columns or a checkerboard pattern, side-by-side or anaglyph
Anaglyph image
Anaglyph images are used to provide a stereoscopic 3D effect, when viewed with glasses where the two lenses are different colors, such as red and cyan. Images are made up of two color layers, superimposed, but offset with respect to each other to produce a depth effect...

 using a red/cyan, green/magenta or blue/yellow combination. In May 2011, an HTML5 version of the YouTube player began supporting side-by-side 3D footage that is compatible with Nvidia 3D Vision
Nvidia 3D Vision
3D Vision is a stereoscopic gaming kit from Nvidia which consists of LC shutter glasses and driver software which enables stereoscopic vision for any Direct3D game, with various degrees of compatibility...

.

Content accessibility


One of the key features of YouTube is the ability of users to view its videos on web pages outside the site. Each YouTube video is accompanied by a piece of HTML
HTML
HyperText Markup Language is the predominant markup language for web pages. HTML elements are the basic building-blocks of webpages....

, which can be used to embed it on a page outside the YouTube website. This functionality is often used to embed YouTube videos in social networking pages and blog
Blog
A blog is a type of website or part of a website supposed to be updated with new content from time to time. Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in...

s. Embedding, as well as ranking and commenting, can be disabled by the video owner.

YouTube does not usually offer a download link for its videos, and intends for them to be viewed through its website interface. A small number of videos, such as the weekly addresses by President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

, can be downloaded as MP4
MPEG-4 Part 14
MPEG-4 Part 14 or MP4 is a multimedia container format standard specified as a part of MPEG-4. It is most commonly used to store digital video and digital audio streams, especially those defined by MPEG, but can also be used to store other data such as subtitles and still images...

 files. Numerous third-party web sites, applications and browser plug-ins allow users to download YouTube videos. In February 2009, YouTube announced a test service, allowing some partners to offer video downloads for free or for a fee paid through Google Checkout
Google Checkout
Google Checkout is an online payment processing service provided by Google aimed at simplifying the process of paying for online purchases. Users store their credit or debit card and shipping information in their Google Account, so that they can purchase at participating stores by clicking an...

.

Platforms


Some smartphone
Smartphone
A smartphone is a high-end mobile phone built on a mobile computing platform, with more advanced computing ability and connectivity than a contemporary feature phone. The first smartphones were devices that mainly combined the functions of a personal digital assistant and a mobile phone or camera...

s are capable of accessing YouTube videos, dependent on the provider and the data plan. YouTube Mobile was launched in June 2007, and uses RTSP
Real Time Streaming Protocol
The Real Time Streaming Protocol is a network control protocol designed for use in entertainment and communications systems to control streaming media servers. The protocol is used for establishing and controlling media sessions between end points...

 streaming for the video. Not all of YouTube's videos are available on the mobile version of the site.

Since June 2007, YouTube's videos have been available for viewing on a range of Apple products. This required YouTube's content to be transcoded into Apple's preferred video standard, H.264
H.264/MPEG-4 AVC
H.264/MPEG-4 Part 10 or AVC is a standard for video compression, and is currently one of the most commonly used formats for the recording, compression, and distribution of high definition video...

, a process that took several months. YouTube videos can be viewed on devices including Apple TV, iPod Touch
IPod Touch
The iPod Touch is a portable media player, personal digital assistant, handheld game console, and Wi-Fi mobile device designed and marketed by Apple Inc. The iPod Touch adds the multi-touch graphical user interface to the iPod line...

 and the iPhone
IPhone
The iPhone is a line of Internet and multimedia-enabled smartphones marketed by Apple Inc. The first iPhone was unveiled by Steve Jobs, then CEO of Apple, on January 9, 2007, and released on June 29, 2007...

. A TiVo
TiVo
TiVo is a digital video recorder developed and marketed by TiVo, Inc. and introduced in 1999. TiVo provides an on-screen guide of scheduled broadcast programming television programs, whose features include "Season Pass" schedules which record every new episode of a series, and "WishList"...

 service update in July 2008 allowed the system to search and play YouTube videos. In January 2009, YouTube launched "YouTube for TV", a version of the website tailored for set-top boxes and other TV-based media devices with web browsers, initially allowing its videos to be viewed on the PlayStation 3
PlayStation 3
The is the third home video game console produced by Sony Computer Entertainment and the successor to the PlayStation 2 as part of the PlayStation series. The PlayStation 3 competes with Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Nintendo's Wii as part of the seventh generation of video game consoles...

 and Wii
Wii
The Wii is a home video game console released by Nintendo on November 19, 2006. As a seventh-generation console, the Wii primarily competes with Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's PlayStation 3. Nintendo states that its console targets a broader demographic than that of the two others...

 video game console
Video game console
A video game console is an interactive entertainment computer or customized computer system that produces a video display signal which can be used with a display device to display a video game...

s. In June 2009, YouTube XL was introduced, which has a simplified interface designed for viewing on a standard television screen.

Localization


On June 19, 2007, Google CEO Eric Schmidt was in Paris to launch the new localization
Internationalization and localization
In computing, internationalization and localization are means of adapting computer software to different languages, regional differences and technical requirements of a target market...

 system. The interface of the website is available with localized versions in 34 countries and a USA version.
Country Language Launch date
(and worldwide launch) English (American)
American English
American English is a set of dialects of the English language used mostly in the United States. Approximately two-thirds of the world's native speakers of English live in the United States....

Portuguese (Brazil)
Brazilian Portuguese
Brazilian Portuguese is a group of Portuguese dialects written and spoken by most of the 190 million inhabitants of Brazil and by a few million Brazilian emigrants, mainly in the United States, United Kingdom, Portugal, Canada, Japan and Paraguay....

French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

English (Ireland)
Hiberno-English
Hiberno-English is the dialect of English written and spoken in Ireland .English was first brought to Ireland during the Norman invasion of the late 12th century. Initially it was mainly spoken in an area known as the Pale around Dublin, with Irish spoken throughout the rest of the country...

Italian
Italian language
Italian is a Romance language spoken mainly in Europe: Italy, Switzerland, San Marino, Vatican City, by minorities in Malta, Monaco, Croatia, Slovenia, France, Libya, Eritrea, and Somalia, and by immigrant communities in the Americas and Australia...

Japanese
Japanese language
is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities. It is a member of the Japonic language family, which has a number of proposed relationships with other languages, none of which has gained wide acceptance among historical linguists .Japanese is an...

Dutch
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

Polish
Polish language
Polish is a language of the Lechitic subgroup of West Slavic languages, used throughout Poland and by Polish minorities in other countries...

Spanish
Spanish language
Spanish , also known as Castilian , is a Romance language in the Ibero-Romance group that evolved from several languages and dialects in central-northern Iberia around the 9th century and gradually spread with the expansion of the Kingdom of Castile into central and southern Iberia during the...

 and Catalan
Catalan language
Catalan is a Romance language, the national and only official language of Andorra and a co-official language in the Spanish autonomous communities of Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Valencian Community, where it is known as Valencian , as well as in the city of Alghero, on the Italian island...

English (United Kingdom)
British English
British English, or English , is the broad term used to distinguish the forms of the English language used in the United Kingdom from forms used elsewhere...

Spanish (Mexico)
Mexican Spanish
Mexican Spanish is a version of the Spanish language, as spoken in Mexico and in various places of Canada and the United States of America, where there are communities of Mexican origin....

English and Chinese (Traditional)
 Republic of China Chinese (Traditional)
English (Australia)
Australian English
Australian English is the name given to the group of dialects spoken in Australia that form a major variety of the English language....

English (New Zealand)
New Zealand English
New Zealand English is the dialect of the English language used in New Zealand.The English language was established in New Zealand by colonists during the 19th century. It is one of "the newest native-speaker variet[ies] of the English language in existence, a variety which has developed and...

English (Canada)
Canadian English
Canadian English is the variety of English spoken in Canada. English is the first language, or "mother tongue", of approximately 24 million Canadians , and more than 28 million are fluent in the language...

 and French (Canada)
Canadian French
Canadian French is an umbrella term referring to the varieties of French spoken in Canada. French is the mother tongue of nearly seven million Canadians, a figure constituting roughly 22% of the national population. At the federal level it has co-official status alongside English...

German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

Russian
Russian language
Russian is a Slavic language used primarily in Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. It is an unofficial but widely spoken language in Ukraine, Moldova, Latvia, Turkmenistan and Estonia and, to a lesser extent, the other countries that were once constituent republics...

  Korea, South Korean
Korean language
Korean is the official language of the country Korea, in both South and North. It is also one of the two official languages in the Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture in People's Republic of China. There are about 78 million Korean speakers worldwide. In the 15th century, a national writing...

Hebrew
Hebrew language
Hebrew is a Semitic language of the Afroasiatic language family. Culturally, is it considered by Jews and other religious groups as the language of the Jewish people, though other Jewish languages had originated among diaspora Jews, and the Hebrew language is also used by non-Jewish groups, such...

English (India)
Indian English
Indian English is an umbrella term used to describe dialects of the English language spoken primarily in the Republic of India.As a result of British colonial rule until Indian independence in 1947 English is an official language of India and is widely used in both spoken and literary contexts...

 and Hindi
Czech
Czech language
Czech is a West Slavic language with about 12 million native speakers; it is the majority language in the Czech Republic and spoken by Czechs worldwide. The language was known as Bohemian in English until the late 19th century...

Swedish
Swedish language
Swedish is a North Germanic language, spoken by approximately 10 million people, predominantly in Sweden and parts of Finland, especially along its coast and on the Åland islands. It is largely mutually intelligible with Norwegian and Danish...

English (South African)
South African English
The term South African English is applied to the first-language dialects of English spoken by South Africans, with the L1 English variety spoken by Zimbabweans, Zambians and Namibians, being recognised as offshoots.There is some social and regional variation within South African English...

Spanish
Arabic
Literary Arabic
Modern Standard Arabic , Standard Arabic, or Literary Arabic is the standard and literary variety of Arabic used in writing and in most formal speech....

Arabic
Arabic
Arabic
Arabic
Arabic
Arabic
English (official)
Philippine English
Philippine English is the variety of English used in the Philippines by the media and the vast majority of educated Filipinos. English is taught in schools as one of the two official languages of the country, the other being Filipino, a standardized version of Tagalog.English is used in education,...

 and Filipino
Filipino language
This move has drawn much criticism from other regional groups.In 1987, a new constitution introduced many provisions for the language.Article XIV, Section 6, omits any mention of Tagalog as the basis for Filipino, and states that:...

English (Singapore)
Singapore English
Singapore English refers to varieties of English spoken in Singapore.There are two main forms of English spoken in Singapore - Standard Singapore English and Singapore Colloquial English, or Singlish....

 Belgium French (Belgian)
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

, and Dutch (Belgian)
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

 Colombia Spanish (Colombia)
Colombian Spanish
Colombian Spanish is a term that refers to the varieties of Spanish spoken in Colombia. The term is of more geographical than linguistic relevance, since the dialects spoken in the various regions of Colombia are quite diverse...



The YouTube interface suggests which local version should be chosen on the basis of the IP address
IP address
An Internet Protocol address is a numerical label assigned to each device participating in a computer network that uses the Internet Protocol for communication. An IP address serves two principal functions: host or network interface identification and location addressing...

 of the user. In some cases, the message "This video is not available in your country" may appear because of copyright restrictions or inappropriate content.

The interface of the YouTube website is available in 51 different language versions, including Catalan, Danish, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Norwegian and Slovene, which do not have local channel versions.

Plans for YouTube to create a local version in Turkey have run into problems, since the Turkish authorities asked YouTube to set up an office in Turkey, which would be subject to Turkish law. YouTube says that it has no intention of doing this, and that its videos are not subject to Turkish law. Turkish authorities have expressed concerns that YouTube has been used to post videos insulting to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was an Ottoman and Turkish army officer, revolutionary statesman, writer, and the first President of Turkey. He is credited with being the founder of the Republic of Turkey....

 and some material offensive to Muslims.

In March 2009, a dispute between YouTube and the British royalty
Royalties
Royalties are usage-based payments made by one party to another for the right to ongoing use of an asset, sometimes an intellectual property...

 collection agency PRS for Music led to premium music videos being blocked for YouTube users in the United Kingdom. The removal of videos posted by the major record companies occurred after failure to reach agreement on a licensing deal. The dispute was resolved in September 2009. In April 2009, a similar dispute led to the removal of premium music videos for users in Germany.

April Fools


YouTube has featured an April Fools
April Fools' Day
April Fools' Day is celebrated in different countries around the world on April 1 every year. Sometimes referred to as All Fools' Day, April 1 is not a national holiday, but is widely recognized and celebrated as a day when many people play all kinds of jokes and foolishness...

 prank on the site on April 1 of every year since 2008:
  • 2008: All the links to the videos on the main page were redirected to Rick Astley
    Rick Astley
    Richard Paul "Rick" Astley is an English singer-songwriter, musician, and radio personality. He is known for his 1987 song, "Never Gonna Give You Up", which was a #1 hit single in 25 countries...

    's music video "Never Gonna Give You Up
    Never Gonna Give You Up
    A group of London dance producers, called The Rickrollerz made a house music cover version of "Never Gonna Give You Up" on that day, and in honor of that event....

    ", a prank known as "Rickrolling
    Rickrolling
    Rickrolling is an Internet meme involving the music video for the 1987 Rick Astley song "Never Gonna Give You Up". The meme is a bait and switch; a person provides a hyperlink seemingly relevant to the topic at hand, but actually leads to Astley's video...

    ".
  • 2009: When clicking on a video on the main page, the whole page turned upside down. YouTube claimed that this was a new layout.
  • 2010: YouTube temporarily released a "TEXTp" mode, which translated the colors in the videos to random upper case letters. YouTube claimed in a message that this was done in order to reduce bandwidth costs by $1 per second.
  • 2011: The site celebrated its "100th anniversary" with a "1911 button" and a range of sepia-toned
    Photographic print toning
    In photography, toning is a method of changing the color of black-and-white photographs. In analog photography, toning is a chemical process carried out on silver-based photographic prints. This darkroom process can not be done with a color photograph and although the black-and-white photograph is...

     silent, early 1900s-style films, including "Flugelhorn Feline", a parody of Keyboard Cat
    Keyboard Cat
    Keyboard Cat is an Internet meme. It consists of footage from 1984 of "Fatso", a cat owned by Charlie Schmidt of Spokane, Washington, wearing a blue shirt and "playing" an upbeat rhythm on an electronic keyboard. In reality, Fatso was manipulated by Schmidt...

    .

Censorship and filtering



Several countries have blocked access to YouTube, including:
  • YouTube has been blocked in China
    China
    Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

    .
  • Morocco
    Morocco
    Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

     shut down access to YouTube in 2008.
  • Thailand
    Thailand
    Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

     blocked YouTube between 2006 and 2007 due to offensive videos relating to King Bhumibol Adulyadej
    Bhumibol Adulyadej
    Bhumibol Adulyadej is the current King of Thailand. He is known as Rama IX...

    .
  • Turkey
    Turkey
    Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

     blocked access to YouTube between 2008 and 2010 after controversy over videos deemed insulting to Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
    Mustafa Kemal Atatürk
    Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was an Ottoman and Turkish army officer, revolutionary statesman, writer, and the first President of Turkey. He is credited with being the founder of the Republic of Turkey....

    . The block was lifted briefly but reimposed in November 2010.
  • On December 3, 2006, Iran
    Iran
    Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

     temporarily blocked access to YouTube, along with several other sites, after declaring them as violating social and moral codes of conduct. The YouTube block came after a video was posted online that appeared to show an Iranian soap opera star having sex. The block was later lifted and then reinstated after Iran's 2009 presidential election
    Iranian presidential election, 2009
    Iran's tenth presidential election was held on 12 June 2009, with incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad running against three challengers. The next morning the Islamic Republic News Agency, Iran's official news agency, announced that with two-thirds of the votes counted, Ahmadinejad had won the election...

    .
  • On February 23, 2008, Pakistan
    Pakistan
    Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

     blocked YouTube because of "offensive material" towards the Islam
    Islam
    Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

    ic faith, including display of the Danish cartoons
    Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy
    The Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy began after 12 editorial cartoons, most of which depicted the Islamic prophet Muhammad, were published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten on 30 September 2005...

     of the prophet Muhammad
    Muhammad
    Muhammad |ligature]] at U+FDF4 ;Arabic pronunciation varies regionally; the first vowel ranges from ~~; the second and the last vowel: ~~~. There are dialects which have no stress. In Egypt, it is pronounced not in religious contexts...

    . This led to a near global blackout of the YouTube site for around two hours, as the Pakistani block was inadvertently transferred to other countries. Pakistan lifted its block on February 26, 2008. Many Pakistanis circumvented the three-day block by using virtual private network
    Virtual private network
    A virtual private network is a network that uses primarily public telecommunication infrastructure, such as the Internet, to provide remote offices or traveling users access to a central organizational network....

     software. In May 2010, following the Everybody Draw Mohammed Day
    Everybody Draw Mohammed Day
    Everybody Draw Mohammed Day was an event held on 20 May 2010 in support of free speech and freedom of artistic expression of those threatened by violence for drawing representations of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad...

    , Pakistan again blocked access to YouTube, citing "growing sacrilegious content".
  • On January 24, 2010, Libya
    Libya
    Libya is an African country in the Maghreb region of North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west....

     blocked access to YouTube after it featured videos of demonstrations in the Libyan city of Benghazi
    Benghazi
    Benghazi is the second largest city in Libya, the main city of the Cyrenaica region , and the former provisional capital of the National Transitional Council. The wider metropolitan area is also a district of Libya...

     by families of detainees who were killed in Abu Salim prison
    Abu Salim prison
    Abu Salim prison is a top security prison in Tripoli, Libya which was often described as notorious for mistreatment and human rights abuses by human rights activists and other observers before the overthrow of the government of 40 years standing in 2011....

     in 1996, and videos of family members of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi
    Muammar Gaddafi
    Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar Gaddafi or "September 1942" 20 October 2011), commonly known as Muammar Gaddafi or Colonel Gaddafi, was the official ruler of the Libyan Arab Republic from 1969 to 1977 and then the "Brother Leader" of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya from 1977 to 2011.He seized power in a...

     at parties. The blocking was criticized by Human Rights Watch
    Human Rights Watch
    Human Rights Watch is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research and advocacy on human rights. Its headquarters are in New York City and it has offices in Berlin, Beirut, Brussels, Chicago, Geneva, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, San Francisco, Tokyo,...

    .


Education authorities in some regions have blocked student access to YouTube, with some state education departments in Australia citing the inability to determine what sort of video material might be accessed.

YouTube was awarded a 2008 Peabody Award
Peabody Award
The George Foster Peabody Awards recognize distinguished and meritorious public service by radio and television stations, networks, producing organizations and individuals. In 1939, the National Association of Broadcasters formed a committee to recognize outstanding achievement in radio broadcasting...

 and cited for being "a 'Speakers' Corner' that both embodies and promotes democracy".

Social impact


Before the launch of YouTube in 2005, there were few easy methods available for ordinary computer users who wanted to post videos online. With its simple interface, YouTube made it possible for anyone with an Internet connection to post a video that a worldwide audience could watch within a few minutes. The wide range of topics covered by YouTube has turned video sharing into one of the most important parts of Internet culture
Cyberculture
Cyberculture is the culture that has emerged, or is emerging, from the use of computer networks for communication, entertainment and business. It is also the study of various social phenomena associated with the Internet and other new forms of network communication, such as online communities,...

.

An early example of the social impact of YouTube was the success of The Bus Uncle
The Bus Uncle
The Bus Uncle is a Cantonese YouTube viral video clip of a quarrel between two men aboard a bus in Hong Kong on 27 April 2006. While the older man, who came to be nicknamed the Bus Uncle, scolded the man seated behind him, a nearby passenger used his camera phone to record the entire incident...

 video in 2006. It shows a heated conversation between a youth and an older man on a bus in Hong Kong, and was discussed widely in the mainstream media. Another YouTube video to receive extensive coverage is guitar, which features a performance of Pachelbel's Canon on an electric guitar
Electric guitar
An electric guitar is a guitar that uses the principle of direct electromagnetic induction to convert vibrations of its metal strings into electric audio signals. The signal generated by an electric guitar is too weak to drive a loudspeaker, so it is amplified before sending it to a loudspeaker...

. The name of the performer is not given in the video. After it received millions of views The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

revealed the identity of the guitarist as Lim Jeong-hyun, a 23-year-old from South Korea who had recorded the track in his bedroom.. This video has since been removed from YouTube.

Charlie Bit My Finger
Charlie Bit My Finger
"Charlie Bit My Finger – Again!", more simply known as Charlie Bit My Finger or Charlie Bit Me , is an 2007 Internet viral video famous for formerly being the most viewed YouTube video of all time. As of November 2011 it has more than 389 million views, and remains the most viewed YouTube video...

, which was uploaded on May 22, 2007, is a viral video
Viral video
A viral video is one that becomes popular through the process of Internet sharing, typically through video sharing websites, social media and email...

 that has received the most views of any user generated YouTube video, with over 300 million views. The clip features two English
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 brothers, with one-year-old Charlie biting the finger of his brother Harry, aged three.
In Time
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

's list of YouTube's 50 greatest viral videos of all time, "Charlie Bit My Finger" was ranked at number one.

Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly is an American magazine, published by the Time division of Time Warner, that covers film, television, music, broadway theatre, books and popular culture...

placed YouTube on its end-of-the-decade "best-of" list, describing it as: "Providing a safe home for piano-playing cats, celeb goof-ups, and overzealous lip-synchers since 2005."

Community policy


YouTube has a set of community guidelines aimed to reduce abuse of the site's features. Generally prohibited material includes sexually explicit content, videos of animal abuse, shock video
Shock site
A shock site is a website that is intended to be offensive, disgusting and/or disturbing to its viewers, containing materials of high shock value which is also considered distasteful and crude, and is generally of a pornographic, scatological, extremely violent, insulting, painful, profane, or...

s, content uploaded without the copyright holder's consent, hate speech, spam, and predatory behaviour. Despite the guidelines, YouTube has faced criticism from news sources for content in violation of these guidelines.

Copyrighted material


At the time of uploading a video, YouTube users are shown a screen with the message "Do not upload any TV shows, music videos, music concerts or advertisements without permission, unless they consist entirely of content that you created yourself". Despite this advice, there are still many unauthorized clips of copyrighted material on YouTube. YouTube does not view videos before they are posted online, and it is left to copyright holders to issue a takedown notice pursuant to the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act
Digital Millennium Copyright Act
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act is a United States copyright law that implements two 1996 treaties of the World Intellectual Property Organization . It criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures that control access to...

.

Organizations including Viacom
Viacom
Viacom Inc. , short for "Video & Audio Communications", is an American media conglomerate with interests primarily in, but not limited to, cinema and cable television...

, Mediaset
Mediaset
Mediaset S.p.A., known as Gruppo Mediaset in Italian, is an Italian-based media company which is the largest commercial broadcaster in the country...

, and the English Premier League have filed lawsuits against YouTube, claiming that it has done too little to prevent the uploading of copyrighted material. Viacom, demanding $1 billion in damages, said that it had found more than 150,000 unauthorized clips of its material on YouTube that had been viewed "an astounding 1.5 billion times". YouTube responded by stating that it "goes far beyond its legal obligations in assisting content owners to protect their works". During the same court battle, Viacom won a court ruling requiring YouTube to hand over 12 terabytes
Terabyte
The terabyte is a multiple of the unit byte for digital information. The prefix tera means 1012 in the International System of Units , and therefore 1 terabyte is , or 1 trillion bytes, or 1000 gigabytes. 1 terabyte in binary prefixes is 0.9095 tebibytes, or 931.32 gibibytes...

 of data detailing the viewing habits of every user who has watched videos on the site. The decision was criticized by the Electronic Frontier Foundation
Electronic Frontier Foundation
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is an international non-profit digital rights advocacy and legal organization based in the United States...

, which called the court ruling "a setback to privacy rights". In June 2010, Viacom's lawsuit against Google was rejected in a summary judgment
Summary judgment
In law, a summary judgment is a determination made by a court without a full trial. Such a judgment may be issued as to the merits of an entire case, or of specific issues in that case....

, with U.S. federal Judge Louis L. Stanton
Louis L. Stanton
Louis Lee Stanton is a federal judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.Stanton received a B.A. from Yale University in 1950, a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1955, and an LL.B from University of Virginia School of Law in 1955...

 stating that Google was protected by provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Viacom announced its intention to appeal the ruling. Since Viacom filed its lawsuit in 2008, YouTube has introduced the "Video ID" system, which checks uploaded videos against a database of copyrighted content with the aim of reducing violations.

In August 2008, a US court ruled in Lenz v. Universal Music Corp.
Lenz v. Universal Music Corp.
Lenz v. Universal Music Corp. was a 2007 case in which the US District Court for the Northern District of California ruled that copyright holders must consider fair use before issuing takedown notices for content posted on the internet...

that copyright holders cannot order the removal of an online file without first determining whether the posting reflected fair use
Fair use
Fair use is a limitation and exception to the exclusive right granted by copyright law to the author of a creative work. In United States copyright law, fair use is a doctrine that permits limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holders...

 of the material. The case involved Stephanie Lenz from Gallitzin, Pennsylvania
Gallitzin, Pennsylvania
Gallitzin is a borough bordered by Gallitzin Township and Tunnelhill in Cambria County, Pennsylvania, in the United States. Standing northwest of Altoona, it was first incorporated in 1872, and named for Prince Gallitzin, who founded the Catholic town of Loretto, Cambria County. Coal-mining and...

, who had made a home video of her 13-month-old son dancing to Prince
Prince (musician)
Prince Rogers Nelson , often known simply as Prince, is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and actor. Prince has produced ten platinum albums and thirty Top 40 singles during his career. Prince founded his own recording studio and label; writing, self-producing and playing most, or all, of...

's song "Let's Go Crazy
Let's Go Crazy
"Let's Go Crazy" is a 1984 song by Prince and The Revolution, from the album, Purple Rain. It was the opening track on both the album, and the film Purple Rain. "Let's Go Crazy" is one of Prince's most popular songs, and is almost always a staple for concert performances, often segueing into other...

", and posted the 29-second video on YouTube.

In the case of Smith v. Summit Entertainment LLC
Smith v. Summit Entertainment LLC
Smith v. Summit Entertainment LLC 3:11CV348 is a case heard by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, in which professional singer Matthew Smith, known as Matt Heart, sued Summit Entertainment...

, Matt Smith sued Summit Entertainment for the wrongful use of copyright takedown notice on YouTube. He asserted seven courses of action and four were ruled in Smith's favor.

Controversial content


YouTube has also faced criticism over the offensive content in some of its videos. The uploading of videos containing defamation, pornography
Pornography
Pornography or porn is the explicit portrayal of sexual subject matter for the purposes of sexual arousal and erotic satisfaction.Pornography may use any of a variety of media, ranging from books, magazines, postcards, photos, sculpture, drawing, painting, animation, sound recording, film, video,...

, and material encouraging criminal conduct is prohibited by YouTube's terms of service
Terms of service
Terms of service are rules which one must agree to abide by in order to use a service. Unless in violation of consumer protection laws, such terms are usually legally binding...

. Controversial areas have included Holocaust denial
Holocaust denial
Holocaust denial is the act of denying the genocide of Jews in World War II, usually referred to as the Holocaust. The key claims of Holocaust denial are: the German Nazi government had no official policy or intention of exterminating Jews, Nazi authorities did not use extermination camps and gas...

 and the Hillsborough disaster
Hillsborough disaster
The Hillsborough disaster was a human crush that occurred on 15 April 1989 at Hillsborough, a football stadium, the home of Sheffield Wednesday F.C. in Sheffield, England, resulting in the deaths of 96 people, and 766 being injured, all fans of Liverpool F.C....

, in which 96 football fans from Liverpool were crushed to death in 1989.

YouTube relies on its users to flag the content of videos as inappropriate, and a YouTube employee will view a flagged video to determine whether it violates the site's terms of service. In July 2008, the Culture and Media Committee of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom stated that it was "unimpressed" with YouTube's system for policing its videos, and argued that "proactive review of content should be standard practice for sites hosting user-generated content
User-generated content
User generated content covers a range of media content available in a range of modern communications technologies. It entered mainstream usage during 2005 having arisen in web publishing and new media content production circles...

". YouTube responded by stating:
We have strict rules on what's allowed, and a system that enables anyone who sees inappropriate content to report it to our 24/7 review team and have it dealt with promptly. We educate our community on the rules and include a direct link from every YouTube page to make this process as easy as possible for our users. Given the volume of content uploaded on our site, we think this is by far the most effective way to make sure that the tiny minority of videos that break the rules come down quickly.


In October 2010, U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner urged YouTube to take down from its website videos of imam Anwar al-Awlaki
Anwar al-Awlaki
Anwar al-Awlaki was an American and Yemeni imam who was an engineer and educator by training. According to U.S. government officials, he was a senior talent recruiter and motivator who was involved with planning operations for the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda...

, saying that by hosting al-Awlaki's messages, "We are facilitating the recruitment of homegrown terror". British security minister Pauline Neville-Jones
Pauline Neville-Jones
Lilian Pauline Neville-Jones, Baroness Neville-Jones DCMG PC is a former BBC Governor and Chairman of the British Joint Intelligence Committee . Before her elevation to the Peerage she was known as Dame Pauline Neville-Jones, DCMG...

 commented: "These Web sites would categorically not be allowed in the U.K. They incite cold-blooded murder, and as such are surely contrary to the public good." In November 2010, YouTube removed from its site some of the hundreds of videos featuring al-Awlaki's calls to jihad
Jihad
Jihad , an Islamic term, is a religious duty of Muslims. In Arabic, the word jihād translates as a noun meaning "struggle". Jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of God ". A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid; the plural is...

. It stated that it had removed videos that violated the site’s guidelines prohibiting "dangerous or illegal activities such as bomb-making, hate speech and incitement to commit violent acts", or came from accounts "registered by a member of a designated foreign terrorist organization". In December 2010, YouTube added "promotes terrorism" to the list of reasons that users can give when flagging a video as inappropriate.

User comments


Most videos enable users to leave comments, and these have attracted attention for the negative aspects of both their form and content. When Time
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

in 2006 praised Web 2.0
Web 2.0
The term Web 2.0 is associated with web applications that facilitate participatory information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design, and collaboration on the World Wide Web...

 for enabling "community and collaboration on a scale never seen before", it added that YouTube "harnesses the stupidity of crowds as well as its wisdom. Some of the comments on YouTube make you weep for the future of humanity just for the spelling alone, never mind the obscenity and the naked hatred". The Guardian
The Guardian
The Guardian, formerly known as The Manchester Guardian , is a British national daily newspaper in the Berliner format...

in 2009 described users' comments on YouTube as follows:
Juvenile, aggressive, misspelled, sexist, homophobic, swinging from raging at the contents of a video to providing a pointlessly detailed description followed by a LOL, YouTube comments are a hotbed of infantile debate and unashamed ignorance – with the occasional burst of wit shining through.
In September 2008, The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph
The Daily Telegraph is a daily morning broadsheet newspaper distributed throughout the United Kingdom and internationally. The newspaper was founded by Arthur B...

commented that YouTube was "notorious" for "some of the most confrontational and ill-formed comment exchanges on the internet", and reported on YouTube Comment Snob, "a new piece of software that blocks rude and illiterate posts".

See also



  • Alternative media
    Alternative media
    Alternative media are media which provide alternative information to the mainstream media in a given context, whether the mainstream media are commercial, publicly supported, or government-owned...

  • CNN-YouTube presidential debates
    CNN-YouTube presidential debates
    The CNN-YouTube presidential debates were a series of televised debates in which United States presidential hopefuls field questions submitted through the social networking site YouTube. The Democratic Party installment took place in Charleston, South Carolina and aired on July 23, 2007. The...

  • Comparison of video hosting services
  • List of Internet phenomena
  • List of video hosting services
  • List of YouTube personalities
  • Viacom International Inc. v. YouTube, Inc.
    Viacom International Inc. v. YouTube, Inc.
    Viacom International, Inc. v. YouTube, Inc., No. 07 Civ. 2103, is a U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York case in which Viacom sued YouTube, a video-sharing site owned by Google, alleging that YouTube had engaged in "brazen" and "massive" copyright infringement by allowing users...

  • YouTube Awards
    YouTube Awards
    The YouTube Awards are awards given out as formalizedic or comedy genres, as voted by the YouTube community. The awards were organized in 2007 to "call out some of the most popular videos and let the users choose which ones deserve some additional recognition"...

  • YouTube Instant
    YouTube Instant
    YouTube Instant is a real-time search engine built and launched in September 2010 by nineteen-year-old college student and Facebook-software-engineer intern Feross Aboukhadijeh of Stanford University that allows its users to search the YouTube video database as they type...

  • YouTube Live
    YouTube Live
    YouTube Live was a 2008 event streamed live on the Internet from San Francisco and Tokyo. It was hosted by a variety of YouTube celebrities, including The Black Eyed Peas rapper will.i.am, Tom Dickson of Will It Blend, Michael Buckley, The Happy Tree Friends, Fred, Smosh, Esmée Denters and singer...

  • YouTube Symphony Orchestra
    YouTube Symphony Orchestra
    The YouTube Symphony Orchestra is an orchestra assembled by open auditions hosted by YouTube, the London Symphony Orchestra and several other worldwide partners. Launched on December 1, 2008, it is the first-ever online collaborative orchestra.-2009:...


External links