It was 17 years ago on Sunday that a 25-year-old guy called Jawed Karim uploaded the first video to YouTube, kickstarting a service that went on to become the go-to hub for video streaming and giving anyone with a camera and a good idea the chance to make a living out of their own content.
The first video was, it has to be said, nothing to write home about. The low-res, 19-second clip (below), called Me at the Zoo, features YouTube co-founder Karim at San Diego Zoo, helpfully pointing out that elephants have remarkably long trunks.
Like most videos that landed on the streaming site in those early days, the clip lacks the highly produced touches that feature so heavily in much of the content that fills the platform today.
“All right, so here we are in front of the elephants,” Karim says to the camera on YouTube’s first-ever video. “The cool thing about these guys is that they have really, really, really long trunks, and that’s cool, and that’s pretty much all there…