YOUTUBE is marking the tenth anniversary of its website going public on Sunday, with the three-man start-up now having billions of users at what is the third most visited site in the world.
THE first video was uploaded to YouTube in April 2005 while the site was still private - an 18-second clip of co-founder Jawed Karim in front of the elephant enclosure at San Diego Zoo, but it was on this day in 2005 that it was opened up to other web users.
Mr Karim has since said that the idea for YouTube came in the wake of Janet Jackson's infamous Super Bowl appearance and the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004 when he struggled to find video clips of both online.
Fellow co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen have also said one original idea was for the platform to be an online video dating site.
A blog post to mark the tenth anniversary said: "YouTube is a portrait of our global culture, seen through the lenses and perspectives of people around the world. It is a portrait built by a creative community of bold and fearless individuals.
"Built by comedians, gamers, activists, artists, performers, teachers, and pranksters. Built with cats and rainbows and blenders and ninjas and unicorns. It was built on the silly. It was built on the profound. It was built by you.
"And 10 years in, you continue to redefine how the world experiences music, entertainment and news. How the world laughs and how the world learns. How we shape political events and how we connect over the things we love."
The site now has more than a billion users and 300 hours of video are uploaded every minute, with localised sites in 75 countries.
Just a year after going public, Google bought YouTube in deal worth $US1.65 billion ($A2.08 billion) and the site now serves as a major location for music videos, even launching its own subscription music service - YouTube Music Key - at the end of last year.
YouTube has been caught up in controversy, too, having been blocked in Turkey on more than one occasion as well as in Pakistan, China and Syria.
The site has also been at the centre of political, social and charitable movements, from being used as a platform by those taking part in the Arab Spring that began in 2010 to being at the centre of the Ice Bucket Challenge in 2014.
Since becoming part of Google, YouTube has also become a native app built into Google's Android mobile operating system, placing it at the centre of millions of smartphones and tablets.
Only two websites - Google and Facebook - receive more visitors than YouTube.