The platform of YouTube provides a very unique service concerning most other internet-based services. It is not a web-based mailing service or social networking service per se, but it does provide the users to interact with each other, and reach out to a larger audience in the video format. Essentially, YouTube is a video-sharing website, but unlike any other video streaming service, third-party video creation and paid service is quite a minor section of its business strategy.
YouTube is a rather user-centric service whereby it provides facilities for a user to create their video content, or watch content created by other users on a variety of different topics. The service is free and advertisement-supported, thus proving a platform for the users to showcase their skills, or enjoy some leisurely entertainment, without investing a major amount of money into it. However, It also does provide premium ad-free plans for a recurring fee. More importantly, the part of the revenue from advertisements is also redirected to content creators, based on the number of views and some other technicalities. In the modern-day, YouTube has become a platform enabling a multitude of content creators to earn their livelihood. Let’s now see how this concept came into fruition.
Introduction to YouTube
YouTube is an America-based video-hosting service, with its headquarters in San Bruno, California. It was founded in 2005 by three former PayPal employees-Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim. Initially, it started as a simple video sharing service, where unregistered users could watch different skits, educational content, movie trailers, documentaries, video-logs and so on. Plus, they could publish their opinions as comments on the videos, subscribe to different users’ channels, form playlists, and a few other options.
Registered users could also upload unlimited original videos onto their channels for other users to enjoy as well. YouTube was bought by Google in November 2006 in a whopping deal worth 1.65 billion dollars and now acts as one of Google’s subsidiary services. With time and investment, big media conglomerates like Vevo, CBS, BBC, and Hulu were integrated with the platform, making their premium content available to a much larger audience. The most recent innovation was introducing film rentals and the paid plans for YouTube Music and YouTube premium, catering to content-specific sectors of the audience.
Now that we have a gross idea about the creation of the YouTube service, let’s have a look into the salient features provided by it.
Features of YouTube
After many different iterations and innovations in the YouTube framework, it has introduced a plethora of features. Of these, the major features are enumerated below.
- 1. Playback and uploading of videos up to a size of 128 GB in most of the contemporary formats like .mp4, .avi and .flv, to name a few.
- 2. Video quality can be flexible, with YouTube supporting formats from 144p to even High Definition videos.
- 3. Annotations can be used by a user to highlight any other important video or link.
- 4. Live streaming options, 3D videos, and interactive 360-degree videos are recent additions to the scene.
- 5. Cross-platform accessibility enhanced with apps for most popular operating systems.
- 6. Paid services of YouTube TV, YouTube Premium and YouTube Go catering to the needs of different sectors of the consumer base.
- 7. Google ‘AdSense’ provides advertisements on the videos based on the creator’s major audience, thus enabling the user to have a consistent income.
Now that we have learned about the features, let’s see how we can use the YouTube service ourselves.
Using your Google account for YouTube
The pre-requisite of accessing YouTube is to have a Google account. You can then use your Google account to access YouTube by following the steps below.
- 1. Open your preferred web browser.
- 2. Go to www.youtube.com.
- 3. Click on the ‘Sign in’ button on the top right-hand corner.
- 4. Enter your Google email address, and click ‘Next’.
- 5. Enter the password and click ‘Next’.
- 6. If you have 2-step verification enabled, you will be prompted to enter the One-Time Password (OTP) sent via a message to your mobile device.
- 7. Enter the OTP and confirm it.
You will now be signed in to YouTube, with your Google account, and will have a channel associated with your YouTube account where you can yourself upload original content.