Chapter 2

The Basics of YouTube

In This Chapter

  • Navigating the basics of the YouTube interface
  • Watching YouTube videos
  • Creating a YouTube account
  • Setting up a unique channel URL
  • Checking out the YouTube Partner Program

In the simplest sense, YouTube is a website designed for sharing video. Before YouTube's founding in 2005, posting and sharing a video online was difficult: The bandwidth and storage needed to stream video were expensive, and many copyright risks were involved in letting people upload whatever they wanted. Because YouTube was willing to absorb the costs and ignore the risks, it provided the infrastructure for users to upload and view as much video as they wanted, for free. This proposition turned out to be a popular one.

Google acquired YouTube in 2006, and YouTube's growth continued. As of 2014, users watch more than 6 billion hours of video per month, and more than 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute.

Let us say that last part again: 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.

Given that amount of content, you, as an individual, could never watch everything that's available on YouTube. For every minute of video you watch, you're 300 hours behind. For every work of genius, such as “Cat in a Shark Costume Chases a Duck While Riding a Roomba,” YouTube has literally tens of thousands of poorly shot, poorly edited videos of family vacations, dance recitals, and bad jokes that could possibly be of interest only to the uploader. This chapter ...

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