YouTube is an American online video sharing and social media platform headquartered in San Bruno, California, United States. Accessible worldwide, it was launched on February 14, 2005, by Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim. It is owned by Google and is the second most visited website, after Google Search. YouTube has more than 2.5 billion monthly users, who collectively watch more than one billion hours of videos each day. As of May 2019, videos were being uploaded at a rate of more than 500 hours of content per minute.
In October 2006, YouTube was bought by Google for $1.65 billion. Google's ownership of YouTube expanded the site's business model, expanding from generating revenue from advertisements alone to offering paid content such as movies and exclusive content produced by YouTube. It also offers YouTube Premium, a paid subscription option for watching content without ads. YouTube also approved creators to participate in Google's AdSense program, which seeks to generate more revenue for both parties. In 2021, YouTube's annual advertising revenue increased to $28.8 billion, an increase in revenue of 9 billion from the previous year. YouTube reported revenue of $29.2 billion in 2022.
Since its purchase by Google, YouTube has expanded beyond the core website into mobile apps, network television, and the ability to link with other platforms. Video categories on YouTube include music videos, video clips, news, short films, feature films, songs, documentaries, movie trailers, teasers, live streams, vlogs, and more. Most content is generated by individuals, including collaborations between YouTubers and corporate sponsors. Established media corporations such as Disney, Paramount, NBCUniversal, and Warner Bros. Discovery have also created and expanded their corporate YouTube channels to advertise to a greater audience.
YouTube has had unprecedented social impact, influencing popular culture, internet trends, and creating multimillionaire celebrities. Despite its growth and success, it has been widely criticized for allegedly facilitating the spread of misinformation and the sharing of copyrighted content, routinely violating its users' privacy, enabling censorship, and endangering child safety and wellbeing, and for its inconsistent or incorrect implementation of platform guidelines.
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