Design History of YouTube.com

YouTube founders Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim (2005)

YouTube founders Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim (2005)
Source: newmediarockstars.com

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)

Early YouTube homepage (2005)
Source: webdesignmuseum.org

YouTube homepage in August (2005)

YouTube homepage in August (2005)
Source: imgur.com

YouTube video watch page with first version of player (2005)

YouTube video watch page with first version of player (2005)
Source: web-strategist.com

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)

YouTube homepage (2006)
Source: webdesignmuseum.org

Video watch page with the redesigned 2006 video player (2006)

Video watch page with the redesigned 2006 video player (2006)
Source: ouriel.typepad.com

YouTube most watched videos page (2006)

YouTube most watched videos page (2006)
Source: reddit.com

YouTube branded channel page (2006)

YouTube branded channel page (2006)
Source: adverlab.blogspot.com

YouTube Homepage, Login, and Video Watch Pages (2007)

YouTube login page (2007)

YouTube login page (2007)
Source: googlesystem.blogspot.com

YouTube homepage (2007)

YouTube homepage (2007)
Source: web.archive.org

Video watch page showing "Me at the zoo," YouTube's first video (2007)

Video watch page showing "Me at the zoo," YouTube's first video (2007)
Source: newmediarockstars.com

YouTube video watch page (2007)

YouTube video watch page (2007)
Source: techradar.com

YouTube video watch page (2007)

YouTube video watch page (2007)
Source: newmediarockstars.com

YouTube embedded player screenshots (2007)

YouTube embedded player screenshots (2007)
Source: googlesystem.blogspot.com

YouTube Homepage and Watch Page (2008)

YouTube homepage (2008)

YouTube homepage (2008)
Source: web.archive.org

YouTube video watch page (2008)

YouTube video watch page (2008)
Source: warosu.org

YouTube Homepage and Watch Page (2009)

YouTube homepage (2009)

YouTube homepage (2009)
Source: web.archive.org

YouTube video watch page (2009)

YouTube video watch page (2009)
Source: gigaom.com

Warning About Internet Explorer 6 (2009)

YouTube homepage warning about IE6 (2009)

YouTube homepage warning about IE6 (2009)
Source: vg.no

YouTube Offers TV Shows For Rent (2009)

YouTube offers long-form TV (2009)

YouTube offers long-form TV (2009)
Source: googlesystem.blogspot.com

YouTube Homepage and Watch Page (2010)

YouTube homepage (2010)

YouTube homepage (2010)
Source: web.archive.org

YouTube video watch page (2010)

YouTube video watch page (2010)
Source: gigaom.com

YouTube Homepage and Watch Pages (2011)

YouTube homepage (2011)

YouTube homepage (2011)
Source: web.archive.org

YouTube video watch page (2011)

YouTube video watch page (2011)
Source: searchresearch1.blogspot.com

Nyan Cat video watch page (2011)

Nyan Cat video watch page (2011)
Source: brianlechthaler.blogspot.com

YouTube Homepage and Watch Page (2012)

YouTube homepage (2012)

YouTube homepage (2012)
Source: inquirer.net

YouTube watch page before redesign (2012)

YouTube watch page before redesign (2012)
Source: neowin.net

Gangnam Style video after redesign (2012)

Gangnam Style video after redesign (2012)
Source: gadgethacks.com

YouTube Homepage and Watch Page (2013)

YouTube homepage (2013)

YouTube homepage (2013)
Source: web.archive.org

Gangnam Style video using redesign (2013)

Gangnam Style video using redesign (2013)
Source: gadgethacks.com

YouTube Homepage (2015)

YouTube homepage (2015)

YouTube homepage (2015)
Source: web.archive.org

2017 Layout Before Redesign (2017)

YouTube homepage before redesign (2017)

YouTube homepage before redesign (2017)
Source: techcrunch.com

YouTube channel page before redesign (2017)

YouTube channel page before redesign (2017)
Source: techcrunch.com

Layout and Logo After 2017 Redesign (2017)

New YouTube Logo for 2017 Redesign (2017)

New YouTube Logo for 2017 Redesign (2017)
Source: theverge.com

YouTube homepage after redesign (2017)

YouTube homepage after redesign (2017)
Source: techcrunch.com

YouTube channel page after redesign (2017)

YouTube channel page after redesign (2017)
Source: techcrunch.com

YouTube dark theme homepage (2017)

YouTube dark theme homepage (2017)
Source: techcrunch.com

YouTube Homepage and Watch Page (2019)

YouTube homepage (2019)

YouTube homepage (2019)
Source: YouTube.com

YouTube video watch page (2019)

YouTube video watch page (2019)
Source: YouTube.com

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.

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