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YouTube Launches (2005)
Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim launched YouTube in 2005, apparently as a
dating site concept. An important point to note here: while the internet is fond of
displaying this image
with a broken layout as the first version of YouTube, we don't believe that's how the site truly looked. Most likely,
this was a screenshot taken from the Wayback Machine that failed to render properly,
leaving important elements off the page. And because we don't believe that's how YouTube really looked,
we don't include it in our archive.
The early homepage in 2005 was spartan by today's standards, with only five videos, a search box, and a bunch of video tags to explore. YouTube's first video player had an enormous logo watermark in the bottom right corner and very few controls. There was no timer or fullscreen button, for example. But it didn't matter for fans of the site at the time. YouTube was the first website that made it easy to upload and share videos by relying on Flash, which that worked seamlessly in the browser. It was much easier to use than other video player plug-ins at the time, such as RealVideo. Later in 2005, the homepage became busy with tabs and additional content.
Early YouTube homepage (2005)
YouTube homepage in August (2005)
YouTube video watch page with first version of player (2005)
YouTube Evolution & Massive Growth (2006)
YouTube averaged 100 million video views per day by mid-2006.
Features like full-screen video view, subscriptions, video ratings, and personalized user profiles were added throughout 2005 and 2006,
leading to various design and usability changes to the site layout and video player.
The video player was upgraded and redesigned with
additional controls, and thankfully lost the huge watermark (although it remained on the embedded player at the time).
Google announced the purchase of YouTube in October 2006, for an estimated price of $1.65 billion.
YouTube homepage (2006)
Video watch page with the redesigned 2006 video player (2006)
YouTube most watched videos page (2006)
YouTube branded channel page (2006)
YouTube Homepage, Login, and Video Watch Pages (2007)
YouTube login page (2007)
YouTube homepage (2007)
Video watch page showing "Me at the zoo," YouTube's first video (2007)
YouTube video watch page (2007)
YouTube video watch page (2007)
YouTube embedded player screenshots (2007)
YouTube Homepage and Watch Page (2008)
YouTube Homepage and Watch Page (2009)
Warning About Internet Explorer 6 (2009)
YouTube Offers TV Shows For Rent (2009)
YouTube Homepage and Watch Page (2010)
YouTube Homepage and Watch Pages (2011)
YouTube homepage (2011)
YouTube video watch page (2011)
Nyan Cat video watch page (2011)
YouTube Homepage and Watch Page (2012)
YouTube homepage (2012)
YouTube watch page before redesign (2012)
Gangnam Style video after redesign (2012)
YouTube Homepage and Watch Page (2013)
YouTube homepage (2013)
Gangnam Style video using redesign (2013)
YouTube Homepage (2015)
2017 Layout Before Redesign (2017)
YouTube homepage before redesign (2017)
YouTube channel page before redesign (2017)
Layout and Logo After 2017 Redesign (2017)
New YouTube Logo for 2017 Redesign (2017)
YouTube homepage after redesign (2017)
YouTube channel page after redesign (2017)
YouTube dark theme homepage (2017)
YouTube Homepage and Watch Page (2019)
Next: History of Google Search and Google Maps
Did you enjoy seeing the history of YouTube? See our
design evolution of Google Search starting in 1996.
Plus, check out our article on the visual design history of Google Maps which launched in 2005.
Do you like seeing nostalgic stuff like this everyday? Follow Version Museum on Twitter or Instagram.
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