On Valentine's Day in the year 2005, a group of already wealthy young computer geniuses began their brainstorming and introductory work on a videography platform for the Internet . Similarly to the origination point of the massively successful firm Facebook, the ideation for Youtube began as a system for rating and classifying video material, as opposed to a forum for video sharing. Not long after Youtube.com's registration on February 15th, the group of young men began posting homemade videos of all sorts. The first video posted on the website depicted one of the founding members (Jawed Karim) at the San Diego Zoo with the elephants . Shortly after Youtube's official launch in December 2005, the company and its previously successful group of young leaders (the founders of Youtube were also responsible for the creation of PayPal, which was extraordinarily successful and subsequently sold to Ebay) began attracting some serious attention. Companies like Nike and NBC both embraced the Youtube philosophy and proceeded to air short clips that became wildly popular. Another company that was inspired by the idea of Youtube was the Sequoia Corporation, which became Youtube's first major investor when it gave the company eight million dollars in funding . It wasn't long before Youtube was a household name and was attracting the interest of the world's largest technology companies. By the middle of 2006, Google Inc. had made the young executives a very generous offer of 1.65 billion dollars, which they happily accepted . After the sale, and with the help of the massive Google budget, Youtube has transformed into a stage for upcoming artists, a platform for Presidential debates, a medium with which to officially announce one's candidacy, and an all around media network.
Key Success Factors
Considering their extremely rapid path to success, Youtube and its ingenious leadership body certainly relied upon several key factors to promote their company and attract users. Being that the firm was not selling a product but rather providing an interactive service, they had to create an environment in which their service was easy-to-use and readily available. The creation of this type of atmosphere was certainly a key factor in their ultimate success. Prior to Youtube, there was certainly quite a bit of video content available and there were a number of ways to engage in peer-to-peer video sharing. However, the available means were not user-friendly at all. That is, downloads were usually very time-consuming and video quality was typically very poor. Additionally, there was no reliable video archiving system whereby videos could be shared across the entire Internet. Youtube essentially solved all of these problems. Thus, many of their key success factors were found in their revolutionary technological and engineering abilities . This ingenuity allowed Youtube's founders to create a site in which videos were easily accessible, downloaded very quickly, and stored in an Internet archive . What is more, this structural configuration made distribution a very easy task and the revolutionary engineering aspects attracted countless repeat customers. Thus, through their unique combination of technological wizardry and perfecting timing in the social media market environment, Youtube was a fast-made success story.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Once again, the technological and engineering brilliance of the young founders of Youtube would probably be classified as this firms greatest strength. For, without this level of resourcefulness and creativity, it is unlikely that this company would have experienced such great levels of success in such a short period of time. The resultant structure of Youtube could be classified as another strength in that it is very easy to use and does not present customers with application fees or numerous user limitations. The countless real-world applications for Youtube as a teaching medium, a platform for debates and interviews, a public forum, a sounding board and an entertainment outlet would all likely fall into the realm of operational strengths as well.
As for Youtube's weaknesses, the fact that this site is continually dealing with copy write issues is a constant source of debate and criticism. This inherent weakness comes with the territory in Youtube's case, though it has been the downfall of other successful firms like Napster and Kaaza . Another weakness that Youtube possesses lies in the massive expenditures this firm requires in order to store their entire archive load. Being that people are constantly uploading material on Youtube, the firm is responsible for storing all material on massive and very costly mainframes. The upkeep and storage of these bulky devices represents a significant cost that has already begun to interfere with Youtube's overall profitability .
In-video Messaging -- This is a new feature that Youtube has added to its cumulative toolbox for users. The idea behind this useful device is to allow users to add textual commentary to their videos. This can be used for numerous purposes like making additional points connected to those on the video or inviting viewers to share their thoughts in the comment section.
Linkage with other Social Media Platforms like Facebook and Twitter -- In the age of social media, it is important for individuals and organizations to be able to synchronize their online dealings. Being that such a large amount of business and marketing is conducted in social media environments, the offering of this kind of useful linkage is extremely helpful in attracting firms that wish to reach all market segments. Youtube allows friend lists to be synchronized across this social media networks, as well as inviting friends to become Youtube channel subscribers and cross-posting selected videos in other social media locations .
Youtube Broadcasting -- Though this implementation was sheepishly initiated early in Youtube's short history, it has been truly exploited and utilized as of late with great success. When Youtube first broadcast the Presidential debate for the 2008 election it began to attract various, previously unexploited market segments . That is, people with no interest in video sharing began to find their way to Youtube for these types of broadcasting events. With the expansionary success of this major broadcasting event Youtube has since made efforts to reach other global market segments outside of the United States. In fact, Youtube recently partnered with the Copa America to produce a live broadcast of this major soccer tournament worldwide .
What Youtube Should Watch Out For
I believe Youtube needs to be wary of the emergence of television as a member of the social media family. The linkage between television and the Internet is becoming stronger each day and if a television company were to integrate a Youtube-like approach to their network or channel, it would certainly be tough for Youtube to compete. With user-controlled features like on-demand and pay-per-view already available, I think this infusion is a real possibility. Thus, it is my opinion that Youtube should invest in research for this market opportunity so that they are not left behind.
Knowing the success Youtube has had in promoting and broadcasting in the political arena, I would recommend taking a stronger position in the environmental and educational fields as well. Unlike the political topics that primarily concern residents and citizens of the United States, issues in environmental protection and education are relevant around the globe. By utilizing Youtube's current resources, virtual classrooms could be created around the world so that many more children could have access to lower-cost education. Additionally, with terms like emissions and global warming becoming regular parts of every global citizen's vocabulary, an environmental initiative or movement initiated by Youtube could attract massive amounts of worldwide attention. Ultimately, not only would these recommendations help Youtube to increase its user base and global recognition, but they would also help to save our planet and educate its inhabitants.
Financial Situation: This is hard to precisely calculate, being that the Google Corporation now owns…