How YouTube works and why it is so successful

How YouTube works and why it is so successful

When YouTube was founded in February 2005, nobody would have thought how much the video platform would change the world. The principle behind YouTube is very simple: As the name You (English for “you”) and Tube (English for “tube” or “television”) suggest, anyone can become a producer and Put videos on the net. YouTube thus reverses the principle of classic mass media, in which a few journalists make edited content available to a large audience, into the opposite.

Video platforms such as YouTube are now a core part of the so-called Web 2.0 , the interactive network. Because with the help of video portals you can show what moves you. The bandwidth of the videos ranges from crochet instructions to animal videos to elaborately produced political magazines. The importance of video platforms in addition to pure entertainment aspects has been evident since the Arab Spring and its worldwide consequences. The shaky shots of people from the crisis areas not only moved the Internet community, but also found their way into classic television formats such as the Tagesschau or heute journal. As a technical platform for everyone, YouTube was and is therefore also a catalyst for social and political change.

With video portals, movement comes into the network

The Internet has been in motion in the truest sense of the word since the creation of video portals. Because videos on websites have become a matter of course today. Internet sites without moving content often appear old-fashioned and stiff. According to data from YouTube in 2018 , 1.9 billion people worldwide use the video portal every month. Over 180 million hours of videos are viewed every day. This massive use is due to two developments. On the one hand, computer and video technology has changed massively over the past decade. For example, video technology was mainly a matter for professionals twenty years ago, but is now in many devices such as cameras, smartphones and tablets video camera already installed as standard. The fact that small, handy and high-resolution video cameras are now more and more widespread and also inexpensive, turns many people into video producers themselves. Whether you are gardening, cooking or doing DIY – the camera is quickly pulled out and a video is quickly created. On the other hand, video portals like YouTube could only emerge because internet speeds have changed enormously in the last decade: larger storage capacities and faster connections have made it possible to use more data-intensive options.

Video portals are different from journalistic offers on the internet

The success of video platforms like YouTube is certainly due to the fact that everyone with their own personal interests can find what they are looking for in the archives. With their abundance of topics, video portals have something for every area of ​​interest. The special attraction about it: The videos are mostly first-hand and therefore often very authentic. In contrast to traditional mass media such as newspapers, radio or television, they offer space for discussion and exchange with producers through comment functions. This principle of video portals initially seems unstructured because, unlike libraries major TV station, does not present content in known formats, genres and at the usual times. This prompts users to actively deal with what they want to see and to know their needs and interests. The chance here is, however, far away from the topics discussed in the classic media, to get to know new things, to deepen hobbies and to discuss interesting aspects. Because video platforms live from the people who fill them with content.

At the same time, however, especially with political or religious content, you have to develop a feeling for which one can be trusted and what should be manipulated. Because here, too, the following applies: Everyone can put anything online, and journalistic principles and controls known from the mass media can, but do not have to be, applied. Anyone who knows about this fact can discover new things on video portals, deepen existing experiences and simply be entertained by a funny video.


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