The first YouTube video (of co-founder Jawed Karim at San Diego Zoo, trivia fans) was uploaded in April 2005. Since then, YouTube has grown into an absolute colossus of the online world: 2.3 billion users, watching an average of almost five billion videos between them every day – with 300 hours of footage being uploaded to the platform every minute. Truly astounding figures.
Anywhere that such a mountain of users encounters an ocean of content, however, are the crashing waves of risk. Youngsters discovering the diverse delights of YouTube can be jeopardised by other people’s toxicity, unsuitable ‘recommended’ content and dangerous online challenges. Our #WakeUpWednesday guide has everything you need to know about YouTube.
YouTube is the default video-viewing app for so many people, wherever they are (it averages a billion views per day, for example, just from smartphones – accounting for around a quarter of daily global mobile traffic) that when something is uploaded – age-appropriate or not – it can reach a staggering number of people in almost no time at all. Music videos for K-pop acts like BTS and Blackpink, for example, regularly exceed 50 million views inside their first hour on the platform: that’s almost a million views a minute. It’s easy to understand why many are concerned about harmful clips featuring profanity, sex or violence being equally likely to go viral rapidly. Our #WakeUpWednesday guide also highlights YouTube’s other potential risks.