Since it first launched in 2005, YouTube has quickly become the number one destination for video content online, attracting over one billion regular users. The Google-owned site gained popularity by enabling people to share their videos with others all over the world, whether it’s an amusing clip of their pet, or footage of them dancing in their living room.
It’s not all about cute cat videos and funny home movies though, as YouTube has also helped people launch careers. For example, pop star Justin Bieber was first discovered when a talent scout saw videos of him singing on the site, and Zoe Sugg, aka Zoella, has got her own book deal and range of beauty products as a result of her popular video blog, or ‘vlog’. You can even earn money directly from YouTube too, as the site shares some of the revenue it makes from companies who pay to run adverts before or over your video.
The popularity of YouTube is mainly down to how easy the website is to use. Videos in a range of file formats can be uploaded as YouTube converts it into its Adobe Flash video format, with the file extension .FLV, for you. This enables the video to be played using YouTube’s Flash player, which can be installed on your computer or smart device for free.
Another benefit of YouTube is the ability to embed videos on other websites. By simply copying and pasting a bit of HTML code, you can enable people to watch a video on your own website using the YouTube player. This saves you having to host the video on your site which requires a lot of bandwidth. Bandwidth is the range of signal frequencies needed to transmit data over the internet and you have to pay for the amount you use. YouTube streams vast amounts of data each day, carrying the bandwidth burden for other sites that want to display video.