Ideas that Change the World – YouTube Leads the Way

YouTube logoMARCH 2013 FEATURE
By Aiden Ament, Lindsay Bell, Joseph Blair, Tyler Baker-Williams, Gemma Calandra, Matt Coopersmith, Matthew Copeland, John Chavez, Alec Douglas, Daniel Edwards, Erin Fernwood, Miguel Friedman, Nathaniel Friend, Pierce Freeman, Siena Gugliemi, Carolyn Hanson, Alexandra Kitze, Bella Rendic, Talia Rizzo, Eliza Ross, Christine Schmitt, Nicole Schmitt, Emily Spears, Aisha Whitney and Christine Watridge
- from Branson, Davidson Middle, Del Mar, Drake High, Marin Country Day, Lycee Francais de San Francisco, Marin School of the Arts, Mill Valley Middle, Redwood High, Saint Hilary, San Domenico, St. Isabella, Sun Valley, Tam High and Terra Linda High Schools

Humongous. Streaming continuously. YouTube is taking over the world. It is already the world’s largest video sharing site, where people post everything from their baby’s first steps to movie trailers for the summer’s biggest blockbusters. The company reports that 72 hours of footage is uploaded to the site every minute of the day, from all over the world.

In only seven years YouTube has grown from a tiny start-up into second most popular search engine, behind Google. The signs of this growth are visible to a keen eye. In the company’s headquarters in San Bruno there are newly built walls covered in plastic sheets and masking tape. Construction workers stroll through the lobby, past the front desk with its fuzzy “Elmo” candy basket.

YouTube was bought by Google in 2006 for a whopping $1.65 billion dollars, and the search engine’s influence is apparent. Red, green, yellow, and blue lava lamps (colors corresponding to Google’s logo) glowed and bubbled brightly against the white walls. Flat screen TVs hung on the wall showing different videos that have been uploaded to YouTube throughout the year. There were kitchens scattered across the building, on every floor, full of free food and coffee. And near the entrance, below portraits of the founders Chad Hurley and Steven Chen, is a foosball table. This is where we met Susan Copeland, a Google employee and our host for the afternoon.