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Insane amount of money first ever video posted to YouTube has made since it was uploaded in 2005

Insane amount of money first ever video posted to YouTube has made since it was uploaded in 2005

It was the first YouTube video ever, and that makes it pretty famous.

YouTube might now stand as by far the single biggest long-form video-sharing site in the world, but those of us old enough to remember when it first started to gain attention will also remember when it was way, way smaller.

Every app, service or website has to start somewhere, after all, and YouTube had to be a blank page with no videos before people could start uploading to it.

In fact, that means that we know exactly which video was the very first ever uploaded to the platform, and fittingly enough it came from one of the site's co-founders, Jawed Karim.

On 24 April, 2005, he uploaded a 19-second clip of himself at the zoo, standing in front of an elephant enclosure.

The video doesn't have much insight to bring to the world, titled "Me at the Zoo", but it was clearly aimed at simply proving that the upload process worked, and it was a success on those terms.

Since that day almost 20 years ago, millions and millions of people have found out that it's the first YouTube video ever, making its view count pretty seismic.

At the time of writing, it's racked up 321,759,943 views, which is somewhat massive, and despite never uploading again, Karim's channel has also accrued 4.7 million subscribers, a number most YouTubers would dream of.

Of course, that begs the question - how much money has this video actually made for Karim, given that adverts are the main source of revenue for YouTube channels.

Well, the truth is that no-one knows, since the video was uploaded before YouTube's monetization was really a high priority, and since its creator made his money in a more traditional way.

As part of the YouTube founding team, albeit one without a title or salary, Karim walked away from the company with $64m in shares, a sizeable slice of the pie that would apparently now be worth around $183 billion.

10'000 Hours / Getty
10'000 Hours / Getty

That means he really isn't particularly dependent on the ad revenue from his single YouTube upload, as significant as it would likely be given its 321-million-plus view count.

It's a salient reminder that the money floating around these tech startups in the 2000s could be pretty monumental if things went the right way, with share packages suddenly becoming worth millions of dollars overnight as a site took off or attracted investment.

Amusingly, this video also might not be the most charismatic, scripted or inventive, but it does indeed provide a pretty good template for what YouTube would encourage in its early years. It's basically a home video uploaded somewhere that was easy to share with friends and family - how far the video site has come since then, eh?

Featured Image Credit: jawed/YouTube