Arizona State University, USA
YouTube is a video-sharing social media website and digital application found on desktop computers, tablets, smartphones, and smart televisions. Founded in 2005 by Steve Chen and Chad Harley and purchased by Google in 2006, YouTube is considered to be a hallmark of Web 2.0 culture and user-generated content. The site serves as a database of video content, featuring videos coupled with the ability for users to rate the video, comment, or find related content. YouTube videos are shorter than traditional broadcast television, around four minutes, and can be edited with embedded annotations or links. Advertisements, either in the form of commercials before a video or as banners that appear during the video, are a key revenue source for individual users and by Google. Research into YouTube has focused on both the production and consumption of content by individual users, drawn from a variety of methodological and theoretical approaches.
Designed as a destination for individually produced videos, such as home videos, do-it-yourself videos, personal video blogs (vlogs), and independent short films, YouTube invites the sharing of content across users via horizontal distribution. This many-to-many distribution contrasts with major media conglomerates and the vertical one-to-many distribution of content. While this potential remains, the predominant use of YouTube falls into the vertical distribution of ...