We’ve come a long way, internet browsers. Internet history is a little more than something to be deleted before a loved one turns on your PC. So much became possible when our favorite websites were born. Now we can chat across the world, share music, and upload videos that can become famous in a matter of minutes. Before Youtube, “going viral” meant little. For all we knew, it was an extreme term for getting a cold. Youtube opened new doors for aspiring amateur film makers and stole the cute animals category away from America’s Funniest Home videos. Now tutorials, scripted work, and plenty more are among what we’d usually expect from people given a camera and an outlet.
via Know Your Meme
Sites like Youtube even change how we view history itself. Everything is recorded and anything can be found with a little searching. It’s hard to believe that one of the internet’s giant’s had ever been so small and meager, but it once was. At launch, Youtube looked like an old AOL menu screen. It was a far prettier launch than sites created in the mid to late 90s like Google, Yahoo, or MSN, but it was a fairly simple site. There were no size options for videos and you certainly couldn’t switch over to 720p. Cameras, too, hadn’t come as far as they are now, so videos weren’t exactly pretty to begin with. Still, everyone is curious about one’s firsts. While Youtube’s isn’t anything bizarre, it wasn’t quite clean cut business either.
The video that set the precedent for all Youtube videos to follow was one uploaded by the site’s co-founder, Jawed Karim. He doesn’t discuss how great Youtube is going to be or what to expect, but he does discuss how cool one thing is: elephants. The first video uploaded to Youtube is Jawed Karim’s visit to the San Diego Zoo, near a whole bunch of elephants. It’s only 19 seconds long, too. It’s sort of cathartic, looking back on what started it all. To check it out, hit the video below:
Mallory "Friday" Soto is the Editor of Cool Sh!t, Joonbug's source for internet culture, tech, charity, and the arts. A former Lit zine editor and comic book fan, she comes from a background of short stories and tales of masked vigilantes. She's a native New Yorker and avid video game fan.