Ten years ago Thursday, an 18-second clip uploaded by YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim titled "Me at the zoo" became the site's very first video.
This seemingly mundane video about elephants with "really, really, really long trunks" was shot at the San Diego Zoo by fellow co-founder Yakov Lapitsky. The video now has over 19 million views and over 130,000 comments.
Today, YouTube is a global phenomenon with over 1 billion users and 300 hours of video uploaded onto the site every minute. The number of hours people are watching its videos each month is up 50 percent year over year while mobile revenue is up more than 100 percent during that time, the company said. It was acquired by Google in 2006 for $1.65 billion and was, at the time, Google's second largest acquisition.
The footage in front of the elephant cage is far from YouTube's most viewed video; Gangnam Style has over 2 billion views. Still, Karim's video—and YouTube itself—managed to catapult its co-founders and a handful of ordinary folks into multimillionaires.
The site is now home to presidential debates, official music videos, home-made how-to videos and endless cat footage.