YouTube Was Supposed To Be A Video Dating Site

Image Credit: kqed Image Credit: kqed
Image Credit: kqed

​It’s an emporium of music videos, movie and series Trailers, study videos, home made clips and so much more , but YouTube was almost something very different way back then. When YouTube was launched in 2005, the site had totally different aims other than just uploading music videos or movie trailers or filming yourself playing with your pets, the site was officially made for “dating.”

That’s not exactly what comes to mind when you think of the world’s largest video site, which welcomes a billion visitors a month. But that’s how the video-sharing website, that Google Inc. bought in 2006 for 1.65 billion USD (5 Trillion UGX), got its start, said co-founder Steve Chen.

According to Co-Founder Steve Chen, YouTube was designed  in a way a single person had to make a video introducing themselves and saying what they were looking for.


Despite offering to pay women 20 USD (67,440 UGX) to upload videos of themselves to YouTube, nobody had uploaded a single video after 5 days, forcing Chen and his other Co-Founders Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim, had to come up with a different strategy. The Guardian reports.

“We always thought there was something with video there, but what would be the actual practical application?” Chen said during a film and music conference in Austin, Texas. “We thought dating would be the obvious choice.”

The matchmaking element, though short-lived, was perhaps always in the cards. Chen said the founders registered the domain name YouTube on February 14, more than a decade ago.

“OK, forget the dating aspect, let’s just open it up to any video,” said Chen at South by Southwest (SXSW). YouTube’s first official video was Karim’s Me At The Zoo. Eighteen seconds of elephants, and the rest is history – including a $1.65bn acquisition by Google in 2006.