The A-Z of Youtube

Last week, I introduced you guys to the A-Z video that YouTube had released on its 10th Birthday and asked everyone to try and figure out as many references as they could. How many of you figured out all the references? How many of you cheated by scrolling through the comments section? How many of you didn’t bother at all!? Don’t look so sheepish; I am not trying to reprimand anyone here. Even if you weren’t able to figure out most of the references or didn’t even bother trying to earn the extra brownie points I offered, don’t worry! I am here to take you through it. But first, let’s have a look at the video once more to refresh our memories: So here goes: A is for “Animals”: Pet and animal videos stand out as a classic YouTube genre loved by viewers everywhere. Cat owners such as myself, would like to believe that YouTube’s success is mostly owed to our feline friends. There are approximately 10 million cat videos on YouTube right now, meaning the world has uploaded an average of one to two cat videos per minute over the last 10 years. Nothing is more “awwwww” worthy than videos of cats being super cute. Enjoy this compilation of cats demanding to be pet by their owners: B is for “Beauty”: In the past 10 years over 5 billion hours of beauty tutorials have been uploaded to YouTube. That’s about 100,000 years’ worth of contouring, eyelash curling, makeup reviews, and hairstyle how-tos. In order to celebrate all the beauty gurus and makeup artists on YouTube, here is a video of a makeup artist turning his girlfriend into a Walker (for more information on Walkers- go watch The Walking Dead please!) C is for “Covers”: One of the most powerful ways a talented star-to-be becomes known is by putting his or her unique spin on a hit song and simply pressing upload. According to YouTube, Frozen’s extremely annoying “Do you want to build a snowman” is one of the biggest covers in the history of YouTube. But I won’t subject you to that torture again, instead here is a cover of Lorde’s “Royals” with an Arabic beat by Alaa Wardi: D is for “Dance”: More than 24 million dance-related clips have been uploaded on YouTube in the last ten years by people who think they can dance. And while some might be a bit more graceful than others, these twerkers, shakers, flashmobbers, b-boys and ballerinas can have some serious, serious moves. But it’s not all about serious moves, there’s the crazy Harlem Shake, which at its peak brought in almost 40,000 videos a day to YouTube, nearly topped Google search trends in 2013 and pushed an artist with no previous chart history to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 (YouTube, 2015). E is for “Epic”: “Sometimes you have to go up really high to understand how small you really are,” Felix Baumgartner said before jumping from a plane hovering at the edge of space. He was 128,100 feet (or more than 24 miles) high in the sky. In 4 minutes and 20 seconds, Baumgartner was safely back on our small blue marble, hugging his teammates from the Red Bull Stratos project. They had successfully set new records for free fall height and speed, making Baumgartner the first human to break the sound barrier without a vehicle. That was EPIC! F is for “Fails”: If you are anything like me, you love a good fail, whether it is a teenage boy face planting himself to the ground attempting some stupid stunt or a so-called beauty guru burning a whole chunk of her hair doing a hair-curling tutorial. It’s always comforting to watch other people fail at something- makes you feel better about yourself. Videos of people failing have been a part of YouTube’s DNA from the very beginning. In the spirit of celebration, I would like to share with you all one of my favorite hair curling tutorials- gone wrong! G is for “Gangnam Style”: Enough said! Let’s just enjoy once more, the global pandemic unlike anything the world has ever seen before. H is for “How-to?”: There are more than 135 million how-to’s on YouTube, addressing every need, whim and question that can be typed into a search bar. Let’s admit it, we have all turned to Mother YouTube for all our burning questions from style tips (how to curl your hair with a straightener), hygiene help (how to get rid of acne) and culinary curiosities (how to marinate a steak). Here are the top 10 ‘How To’ educational searches between 2012-2015: 1. How to kiss? 2. How to tie a tie? 3. How to draw? 4. How to get a six pack in 3 minutes? 5. How to make a starburst bracelet rainbow loom? 6. How to make a cake? 7. How to curl your hair with a straightener? 8. How to make a bow? 9. How to make a paper airplane? 10. How to dance? I is for “It Gets Better”: Through the inspiring, impassioned, incredible letter “I” that we pay special homage to all those who’ve shown us that the game of life can and does change. This post is dedicated to all those that have shared their personal stories so bravely and so proudly and help spread the word that “It Gets Better.” J is for Jimmy & Jimmy: This was a reference to the two Jimmys ruling YouTube’s late-night shows category, Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel with 7.1 million and 5.8 million subscribers respectively. With this category, YouTube paid homage to all the talk-show hosts for keeping us all laughing well past midnight and all throughout the day. A special shout-out to David Letterman who recently said goodbye to Late Show with David Letterman after entertaining us for over two decades. late night K is for “Kidding around”: Whether it is the extremely popular “Charlie Bit My Finger..Again” video or the “Apparently Kid” somehow managing to take over a local newscast or parents fooling their kids into believing they ate all their Halloween candy because Jimmy Kimmel asked them to, the spirit of kidding around is alive and well on YouTube and keeps us all feeling young at heart. L is for “Let’s Play”: 10 years ago, if you said “let’s play,” you were probably talking to three friends, at most. But in 2015, when someone like PewDiePie says “let’s play,” he’s inviting over 36 million people to hang out and play video games. For those of you who are wondering what am I talking about, videos in which a person plays a game while adding commentary, are called “Let’s Play” videos, and have become a global, cultural phenomenon. M is for “Memes”: Whether you were planking, doing the Harlem Shake or taking the Ice Bucket Challenge, you were doing something that may have seemed incredibly silly individually but was undeniably fun and unique in aggregate. You made a world where entertainment was something you could participate in and make your own. And no one can take that away from you. No matter who your base belong to. Below is our take on the ALS Ice Bucket challenge that we uploaded on YouTube in September 2014 N is for “News”: Over the last decade, people have changed the way we discover, experience and spread the news. Digital technology has equipped people around the globe with the tools to speak up, speak out, and share what’s happening in their corners of the world, in ways never before possible. And YouTube is the place millions of people come to learn about and experience these moments every day. From the U.S. presidential debates in 2007 to the rise of The Arab Spring in 2010, from the Umbrella Revolution of 2014 to the Nepal earthquake of this year — millions of people all over the globe have turned to YouTube to share their firsthand experiences, perspectives and stories. O is for “Old Spice”: While many of YouTube’s most beloved videos are ones made by everyday people, the creative stories told by brands snag a fair share of views, too. Which brings us to one of the most popular and classic adverts on YouTube: the “Old Spice Guy” (or, technically, “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” from Old Spice). In an ad that set a new standard for branded video, the Man — played by Isaiah Mustafa — premiered before the Super Bowl in February, 2010. Bare chested and directly addressing the camera, Mustafa broke the fourth wall and established himself as the world’s hunkiest, funniest toiletries spokesman. P is for “People”: For all the music, games, memes, fails, and how-tos, what may end up being YouTube’s ultimate legacy is the people it connected us to. 10 years of YouTube have introduced us to some of the craziest, funniest, most-interesting, and most-unusual people we’d ever come across. Q is for “Questions: What came first, the chicken or the egg? Why is the sky blue? What color is The Dress? Why can’t I find a girlfriend? YouTube has the ability to pretty much answer any question that flickers across your cortex. R is for “Reactions”: Where would YouTube be without reaction videos? Kids reacting to eating lemons for the first time to reactions to scary pranks or beautiful proposals to grandparents reacting to Nicky Minaj’s ode to a certain reptile, this reaction genre, that was once non-existent, has grown to become one of the most popular forms of video on the platform. Here is a video of teenagers reacting to one of the biggest tragedies that has befallen upon them in recent times- Zayn Malik leaving One Direction: S is for “Singers”: Whether professional, amateur or animal; auto-tuned, a capella, or lip-dubbed, singing has proven to be one of YouTube’s most popular forms of entertainment. Some of the most unforgettable performances on YouTube are not ones made by famous “billionaires,” but those made by everyday people, like Susan Boyle (24 million views), Italian Nun Cristina Scuccia (72 million views), and – once upon a time – a young, unknown phenomenon from Ontario (48 million views – and now 11 billion subscribers to his VEVO channel). T is for “Time-lapse”: YouTube’s 1.7M+ time-lapse videos have offered us new, eye-opening perspectives on the people, places and things that surround us. From watching the world spin on its axis from 250 miles in space, to witnessing the poignant transformation of a young girl from birth to adolescence, to seeing through the eye of a storm, time-lapse videos alter our perception of time and the natural metamorphoses of everything around us in a way never before possible. Overall, more than 4,400 days (or 12 years) worth of time-lapse footage have been uploaded to YouTube, the sum of which has been viewed more than 3.9 billion times. U is for “Uplifting”: Amid the animal hijinks, epic stunts, silly pranks and music videos, sometimes a gem arises that really moves you. It makes you laugh. It makes you cry. It makes you believe in yourself. Something you can’t help but want to share with the world. Thank you YouTube for bringing us hundreds of such uplifting stories with the feel-good factor that is hard to measure, but easy to sense. V is for “Vloggers”: Vloggers have played a significant role in the formation of YouTube’s personality and culture. Over the past decade, tens of millions of vlogging videos have been uploaded to the site, with vloggers like the Shaytards, Reality Changers, Grace Helbig, Jenna Marbles and numerous others uploading videos every day for years and making YouTube the unique destination it is today. W is for “Weird and Wonderful”: Sometimes it might seem like YouTube is made up of a billion people who are just waiting for that next little bit of weird to come along. But it’s also made up of a billion people who all have a little bit of weirdness just waiting to be shared. YouTube is where weird goes worldwide. Whether it was the emergence of the Harlem Shake in 2012, teenagers trying the #kyliejennerlipchallenge or animals acting weird, YouTube is the place where one person’s or animal’s idiosyncrasies can be discovered, shared, and celebrated. Here is a weird video of a billy goat terrorizing a town: X is for “Xperiments”: Since our earliest days, YouTube has served as home-base for the informative, hilarious and downright crazy DIY experiments they didn’t always teach in middle school. Last month alone, over 515,000 hours of videos featuring the infamous and often duplicated Diet Coke and Mentos experiment were viewed on YouTube. Lately, we have started seeing some thought-provoking and controversial social experiments played out in the real world. Notable uploads like Dove Real Beauty Sketches and First Kiss have become cultural phenomenon in their own right, with the two earning a combined 165 million views and sparking countless parody videos such as the one below: Y is for “You”: Y may be the second to last letter in the alphabet, but it represents the most important element of YouTube: You. Without you, there would be no tiny hamsters eating burritos, no dance evolutions, no epic leaps through the sky. Our hair would be a mess and our most burning questions would go unanswered. Basically, without you, there would be no YouTube. Thank you for a decade of putting your own special You in YouTube every day. Z is for “Zoo”: It only makes sense that we end this celebration from where it all started a decade ago: at California’s San Diego Zoo. The first ever video uploaded on YouTube was titled “Me at the Zoo” by none other than YouTube’s co-founder Jawed Karim where he describes the really, really, really, um, long trunks of the elephants. *All references have been taken from the YouTube Blog (2015)

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