Feel Old Yet? The First YouTube Video Just Turned 12 Years Old

24 April 2017, 16:08

We the Unicorns

By Liam Dryden

Here's how YouTube's biggest videos have evolved since "Me at the zoo".

So we're all about the here and now of the YouTube world at We The Unicorns; but sometimes it's important to take a moment and remember our history. Because without knowledge of our past, how can we truly determine our future? Anyways, all this to say it's been 12 years since the very first YouTube video, "Me at the zoo", was uploaded.

me at the zoo

YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim uploaded the video on April 23rd, 2005.

In just 18 seconds, Jawed's quick summary of the elephants behind him was a litmus test that launched possibly the biggest accidental social experiment of all time. Did Jawed know what he was doing at the time? Almost probably definitely not, as it doesn't even look like he knew what he was doing at the zoo. But the video has since racked up over 38 million views and is a cornerstone of YouTube's history.

Watch "Me at the zoo" below.

But of course, it led us to wonder: How have YouTube videos evolved since "Me at the zoo" was uploaded? There's no denying there have been some changes. So we decided to try a timeline of YouTube's evolution, based on the most successful videos of each of its 12 years.

The results were... disappointing.

We forgot how much music videos had dominated YouTube's landscape since the rise of VEVO in 2008. But regardless, here is a timeline of the biggest YouTube videos of every year since its inception. Hopefully we all learn something...