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Video Made The Internet Star: YouTube Turns 10

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon.

(SOUNDBITE OF YOUTUBE VIDEO, "ME AT THE ZOO")

JAWED KARIM: All right, so here we are in front of the elephants.

SIMON: This could be just about the most boring video ever uploaded to YouTube. What - more boring than hamsters napping, vacuuming tips or a video on how to get rid of ear wax? But this man standing in front of the elephants at the San Diego Zoo is Jawed Karim, who, together with a couple of partners, registered YouTube as a domain name ten years ago today. This first YouTube video has been viewed 17 million times. Over the past decade, YouTube has become both a hit and a utility, a part of everyday life. It's helped make international sensations.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "GANGNAM STYLE")

PSY: (Singing in foreign language).

SIMON: And it's been a platform for previously unheralded house pets.

(SOUNDBITE OF YOUTUBE VIDEO)

UNIDENTIFIED CAT: Hello.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Hello.

UNIDENTIFIED CAT: Hello.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Hello.

SIMON: YouTube has also brought us images from hard-to-reach parts of the globe onto screens that we hold in our hands.

(SOUNDBITE OF YOUTUBE VIDEO)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Yelling in foreign language).

(SOUNDBITE OF MACHINE GUN FIRING)

SIMON: And it's a platform for world household names.

(SOUNDBITE OF YOUTUBE VIDEO)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Now, make no mistake, this is a difficult mission.

SIMON: And yes, also occasionally terrorists. YouTube videos have shown people how to repair leaky plumbing, scale mountains and pick out the right eye shadow. They've captured moments, made stars, unmasked rascals and enabled Annies from around the world to be heard.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TOMORROW")

UNIDENTIFIED GIRL: (Singing) The sun will come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow there'll be sun.

SIMON: And wait, there's another one.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP")

SIMON: Oh, no, Rickrolled. Happy birthday YouTube - 10 years old today.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "NEVER GONNA GIVE YOU UP")

RICK ASTLEY: (Singing) We're no strangers to love. You know the rules and so do I... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.