Five years of YouTube


Dancing cats, rollerblading babies, sneezing pandas and pretty much any music video under the sun . . . if you can think of it chances are there will be a clip of it on YouTube. It’s no wonder millions of people around the world spend hours surfing the video-sharing site.

The website recently celebrated its fifth birthday and has become the place to watch videos. In just five years it has become a kind of visual library of happenings worldwide.

Clips range from lighthearted to hardcore news, from people sharing sweet amateur videos with family and friends to professional pieces made by those wanting to launch a career in music or acting.

These days anyone who has a video camera can become a star. All it takes is for one of the 350 million people across the world who click on the site every day to make your clip go viral (by sending it to friends who send it on to their friends who send it on to their friends).

YouTube has also changed the way we watch music videos and see movie trailers. Instead of needing a TV music show such as MTV or going to the cinema we can simply click on the site. And as anyone who has ever used it will tell you it’s the first place to go to rewatch major sport moments and news bloopers.

In short, if anything is caught on camera chances are it will make its way to the website. As one writer jokes, “If it’s not on YouTube it couldn’t really have happened.”

In celebration of the site’s fifth birthday, here are the five top videos on YouTube:

1 Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance – the music video for the quirky singer’s 2009 chart-topper (203,2 million views).

2 Charlie bit my finger – again! A baby playfully bites his brother’s finger then gives a wicked little laugh when his brother whimpers. Cute baby, evil laugh – what’s not to love (188,9 million views).

3 Evolution of Dance by Judson Laipply. This guy proves he can dance by doing an astonishing range of moves including the twist, Michael Jackson’s Thriller steps and Danny Zucko’s Grease moves. There are a few hilarious moments in this six-minute clip (143,2 million views).

4 Pitbull’s I Know You Want Me – the 2009 music video of the rapper’s catchy club anthem (119,9 million views).

5 Miley Cyrus’ 7 Things. The teen pop sensation’s song off her 2008 album, Breakout, still draws a lot of traffic (118,3 million).

*Figures correct at time of compiling this item.

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