Happy 8th Birthday, YouTube: The 8 Videos That Helped Shape YouTube

Happy 8th birthday, YouTube!

From an initial beta test video of co-founder Jawed Karim entitled “Me At the Zoo” back on April 23, 2005, through now, YouTube has seen mountains rise, oceans fall and a girl brushing her teeth with poop to win an iPhone.

Along the way, there have been millions of other important moments (well, their uploaders thought they were important anyhow …) that have effectively changed the face of pop culture and society, both for better and for worse. And if you have that sort of control, you know you are on to something HUGE.


So we’ve decided instead of getting YouTube a cake (who needs the calories — plus we still have some leftover from Grumpy Cat’s birthday … tuna fish cake was not a good choice), NMR is going to select the 8 videos that shaped the matrix of the YouTube we know today. We expect debate on this — you might feel some video is better, or somehow more relevant — but we assure you that you’re wrong. We’re a badass, cutting-edge social media magazine with powerful friends and sexy parties — you’re just some person with college debt and butt acne.

So without further adieu, here are the 8 most important videos from YouTube’s past (and naturally, we ranked them to piss you off even more):

8. “Me At the Zoo” — April 23, 2005 ? 10,501,250 views

Easily the worst, but most necessary inclusion on the list, “Me At the Zoo” will forever be a crucial footnote in the legacy and lore of YouTube’s origin story. Jawed Karim and his fellow founders, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, were employees at PayPal when they concocted the idea for a video service that the individual could upload videos to, rather than be at the mercy of some site overlord a la Metacafe. Calling their site YouTube, the three uploaded 20 seconds’ worth of Karim at the San Diego Zoo. Methinks if they knew what they were creating, this video would look more like something in the vein of Keyboard Cat.

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