A Look At The Past As The 1st YouTube Video Turns 5

Five years ago today, on April 23, 2005, the first video was uploaded to YouTube and a new era began. Many of you are probably thinking, “What? YouTube has only been around for 5 years?” These days the social video site has become such a huge part of our lives that we feel like it’s been around forever. Let’s take a look back at some of original uploads and see how we have changed in the last five years, since YouTube came into our lives. Surprisingly, we seem to be pretty much in the same boat as when we started out.

The first videos uploaded to YouTube share the same themes and subjects that we all have grown to know and love today – people getting hurt, acting like fools, playing pranks and showing off for the camera. It appears that the first uploads were a good indication of the direction the site would take. Following are a few of the earliest additions to YouTube’s video collection.

Me At The Zoo

This video is today’s birthday boy – the first video to be uploaded to YouTube exactly 5 years ago. It features YouTube co-Founder Jawed Karim at the San Diego Zoo, offering up a “really, really, really” cool fact about elephants.

My Snowboarding Skillz

The fact that the second video to be uploaded to the site features a guy taking a tumble while trying to show off his mad snowboarding skillz reveals a lot about what YouTube would become. Today a huge portion of the most popular videos on YouTube are of people falling, getting hurt, getting kicked in the nuts or injuring themselves in other ways. So here you are ladies and gentlemen: The first ever winter sports blooper, uploaded exactly 5 years ago today. I’m sure that if the video had been uploaded today it would be called ‘Snowboarder FAIL’.

Flambé Disaster

This video was uploaded on YouTube’s second day and features a group of friends attempting to flambé a steak for the first time. The results are a little intense. So what do you think? Flambé FAIL or Flambé WIN?

Pandas at the San Diego Zoo

This early YouTube clip features Pandas at the zoo in San Diego. It was the first animal video uploaded to YouTube and kicked off years of people uploading videos of cute animals and pets to the site.

Two Chinese Boys: I Want It That Way

This video, which was uploaded a couple of months after YouTube’s launch, got the ball rolling for the vlog revolution. It features two guys sitting in front of a web cam and lip-syncing along to the Backstreet Boys ‘I Want It That Way.’ The video has been viewed more than 4.5 million times and has spawned many copy-cats, including the popular vlogging duo Smosh, who caught their break lip-syncing to the Pokémon theme song.

As you can see, YouTube’s first videos really seemed to have paved the way for what the site would become. From pain to cuteness to showing off for the camera, it doesn’t seem that our tastes have changed much in the last five years. What do you think about the trending topics on YouTube over the years? What direction do you think the site will take in future years?