Thanks to the wonderful job the Internet archive does you can see an April 28th 2005 snapshot of YouTube, showing it actually was designed as a dating website. The video part comes from the users uploading their own little spiel or about me in a video.
The name YouTube makes sense for the original idea and what the website is today. Videos on/about/showcasing you would have been the thinking 14 years ago, whilst today its more the you means your production.
Obviously this idea didn’t last and as it seems was pretty one dimensional or basic in comparison to becoming the worlds largest video sharing platform. At the time YouTube would have cashed in on the clean slate of the internet where faster speeds became common and sharing video very much possible and accessible.
It wasn’t even a month later when YouTube had moved on from its attempt at being a dating platform and moved into being a very basic looking account based video website.
The more astounding thing is that the early YouTube design was decent, comparing to many other websites from the early 2000’s this design is clean and organized. Those two features where so rare back then without developers spamming as many HTML elements as they could.
Early days, the best days
Going through the archives of those early YouTube years the difference in videos then to now is a big gap. Back then the videos where about informing and sharing. It was organic and obviously low quality.
This 240p master piece was uploaded in 2006
Its straight to the point, no beating around the bush and informative without going of to other facets.
YouTube in its early days didn’t have the money rules everything aspect, it didn’t have the power users (and abusers) and the content was completely more genuine.
Money rules on this platform
Before the corporates, shills, affiliates and advertisers took over YouTube the website was at its peak, peak freedom and peak enjoyment. Now all that has become of the former dating site is a maze where more often or not you’re going to come across questionable content or characters.