Google’s video sharing platform, YouTube has turned 8 this week – and what an amazing journey it has been. YouTube, which was acquired by Google in 2006, has become the go-to destination to find video content on almost every subject possible – from the latest viral harlem shake video to how-to demonstrations on making your home solar-energy equipped. Make sure you’re up to date with the latest news stories, immerse yourself in cultural events or hear directly from the world’s leaders. Whatever you want to see, YouTube is the place to go.
With YouTube viewers can access and create news, information or entertainment, wherever they are and on whatever device is available. Today YouTube has announced that more than 100 hours of video footage is uploaded to YouTube every minute. That’s more than four days of video uploaded each minute. In 2012, it was 72 hours of video uploaded every minute. In 2011, it was 48 hours and in 2010, it was 35 hours.
With over 6 billion hours of video watched per month, a quarter of which are viewed on a mobile device, YouTube is growing fast each year. In the past two years in Kenya’s, visits to the platform have grown by 95%, and uploads have increased by 40%. South Africa leads the region with most playbacks followed by Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria.
YouTube has evolved into more than just an entertaining and educational video sharing site – now, it plays a key role in advertising and business development as well. In Kenya, it has also taken centre stage in sports. Julius Kiplagat Yego aka ‘Mr. YouTube’, a Kenyan track and field athlete in the javelin throw, a sport not well known in Kenya is reputed to have self coached himself by relying on YouTube to perfect his technique and skills. He was the first Kenyan to qualify for a field event at the Olympics and in 2011, he became the All – Africa Games title winner, breaking the national record and receiving his first gold medal.
In January this year, the Kenya Elections YouTube Channel was launched, allowing easy access to the latest political news, commentary, documentaries, parodies and campaigns. The channel helped connect leaders with their voters, and empowered the Kenyan people with information. As a result, it helped stimulate debate, and promote understanding of political issues and trends. YouTube made it easy to connect people with the political information that is most important to them, and make that information useful in understanding political issues.