YouTube’s first video was published on April 23, 2005 by company co-founder Jawed Karim (a PayPal Mafia member!). He never posted another video.
Karim’s video isn’t much to gawk at, 13 years later. He’s standing in front of a camera at the zoo, explaining what’s happening around him. You can watch the video at the top of this post. It’s eerily reminiscent of today’s modern vlog scene perhaps, but the video’s sole purpose is to introduce people to YouTube. It does that pretty well.
Now, however, Karim appears to be making a play for breaking the longest hiatus in the service’s history. Karim uploaded two polls to his YouTube page yesterday asking his 300,000 subscribers whether he should upload a new video. That poll received more than 5,000 votes and more than 650 comments, leading to a second poll: What should the video be about?
The replies to Karim’s poll are, in traditional YouTube ways, reflective of the platform’s current culture. There are a couple of insults littered throughout, but most of the comments ask Karim to return to the zoo and upload a similar video. People asked for a continuation, picking up right where he left off like nothing happened, while others asked for a proper sequel. Others, naturally, disagreed, telling Karim to leave his channel alone and avoid ruining perfection.
“No, You are THE guy,” one YouTuber who goes by Peter Vujicic said. “You just risk ruining it, don’t mess with perfection.”
Another YouTuber responded to Karim’s question by suggesting that Karim only post one video every 13 years to keep the magic alive.
“I think this channel should upload a video every thirteen years for the remainder of YouTube’s existence,” BerryWeasel said.
Karim hasn’t said anything since his poll last night, so who knows if he’ll go through with it. Polygon has reached out to YouTube for more information, and we’ll keep an eye on his channel until then just in case.