The first video uploaded to YouTube, 15 years ago, shows one of the cofounders at the zoo — watch the clip here

mkosoff@businessinsider.com (Maya Kosoff,Paige Leskin)
YouTube cofounder Jawed Karim in a screenshot from "Me at the zoo."

Jawed/YouTube

  • A website for hosting and sharing videos called YouTube was launched to the public 15 years ago.

  • YouTube's cofounders uploaded the first video to the platform, still in beta, while in April 2005.

  • The video they selected — called "Me at the Zoo" and starring cofounder Jawed Karim — forged a path for billions of hours of YouTube videos to come in the years since.

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Fifteen years ag0, a guy named Jawed Karim posted the first-ever video to YouTube. 

The 18-second video, entitled "Me at the zoo," features Karim, a YouTube cofounder, at the San Diego Zoo standing in front of a bunch of elephants.

"All right, so here we are in front of the elephants," he says in the clip. "The cool thing about these guys is that they have really, really, really long trunks, and that's, that's cool. And that's pretty much all there is to say."

The low-quality video was posted on YouTube a month before the platform's public beta launch in May 2005. By this point, YouTube's team had pivoted from an idea for a dating site to a vision for a platform that made online video more accessible and easier to share. The website then officially launched in November 2005. 

Karim left the company in 2005, instead going to Stanford University to get a masters degree in computer science. But when Google later acquired YouTube in 2006, Karim got 137,443 shares of stock in the company worth roughly $64 million. Karim went on to found venture capital firm Youniversity Ventures, which has invested in companies including Airbnb.

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