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YouTube Free: Everything you need to know (Updated 2022)

YouTube is a site that needs no introduction. There is a good chance you have used YouTube before, possibly even already today. But if you are less familiar with the video streaming phenomenon, or just want to learn more about it (and how to take advantage of everything it has to offer), check out our Streaming Sites review of YouTube today!


Nicole Sommer
Last updated: Tuesday, 03.October 2023
Author Biography
Hello. My name is Nicole Sommer. I am a big soccer enthusiast and do a lot of reserach around the easiest way to watch soccer on TV and online across the whole globe.
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One Site can Lead a Cultural Shift

Rare websiteNapsterchanges ways we consume media. Resulting in challenges status quo. Liberation of media by presenting alternate world in which it could be free.
YouTube, though, has given users the opportunity to watch a wide variety of videos from all around the web. Another website that has had a similarly crucial effect on how we consume media, particularly video content, is YouTube. Prior to YouTube's launch, our options were rather limited for what kinds of videos we would have access to. People could basically choose from one of but a few choices. YouTube, though, has given users the opportunity to watch a wide variety of videos from all around the web.
We could either watch preprogrammed television shows whenever they happened to be on, go to the movie theater and pay to see a film, head on over to a video rental store like Blockbuster and rent a movie, or use a file-sharing site like Napster to download a movie.
However, YouTube rose up, seemingly unannounced, and offered us not only a new way to watch videos but a new way to share our own, as well as a whole slew of previously impossible content for us to enjoy. I don't think that YouTube gets nearly as much credit as it deserves for putting a spotlight on video streaming, proving that a video streaming site could be both practical, scalable, and profitable.
Without YouTube, it would be plausible to say that there would be no Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, or Amazon Prime Video. YouTube had to lay down the technical groundwork and thank goodness they did. Because it has made possible so many streaming sites that we know, love, and enjoy on a regular basis today.
YouTube was founded by three people who had worked together at PayPal. Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim created the video streaming service in February of 2005. Shortly thereafter, though, in November of 2006, Google bought YouTube for 1.6 billion US dollars - a very intelligent buy if you ask me. Today, YouTube is still owned and operated by Google, as one of the company's subsidiaries.

More than Meets the Eye

We all know how YouTube works, I think. But just in case there are some features or types of content that you were unaware of, let's go through the gamut of what YouTube allows you to do and watch.
YouTube users can view, rate, share, and comment on videos; obviously; as well as create personalized playlists of video content which is still unheard of on most other video streaming sites. Another way that YouTube differs itself from its competitors lies in the fact that users can also upload an unlimited amount of video content, create live video broadcasts, and regularly blog.
This user-generated focus that YouTube has made its bread and butter has also led to the production of tons of unique and previously unheard-of types of video content. For example, thanks to YouTube, we have seen the rise of the ?unboxing video,? where YouTubers will order a product, open it up on video, and show how the product works, as well as give a review of their thoughts of it. This has resulted in companies finding new and creative ways to market products and contributed to the ?influencer? culture that now dominates social media.
YouTube also inspired sites like Twitch, which is why it's surprising that Twitch existed before it. People were uploading videos of themselves playing video games for years before Twitch came along. YouTube was the original place where these kind of streamers would post content. After the fact, Twitch realized that there was a huge opportunity in this burgeoning market and swiftly capitalized on it.
Then, there has been a recent phenomena on YouTube of people reacting to new music, stand-up comedy, or movie trailers when they come out. They sort of function as reviews that you can watch. YouTube reviewers are by no means experts in their field or anything, but they can be highly entertaining to watch - especially if the YouTuber in question has an electric or quirky personality.
Since YouTube has inspired so much new media content, there is now a growing demand for professional YouTubers who can produce high-quality videos and generate a living from their content. The monetization process for YouTubers is complex and requires lots of clicks and follows, so those with the talent and ambition can make a respectable living from their channel.
There are professional videos on YouTube, too. This is probably not the case anymore because full-length movies and TV show episodes are no longer available on YouTube, but there are plenty of clips.
However, there are also whole corners of YouTube that you may not have even known about. YouTube is the home to a vast array of music videos, documentaries, mini-series, short films, cartoons, and educational videos. Basically, if it falls within the bounds of YouTube's strict Copyrights policy, you can find it.

A Staggeringly Large Video Streaming Phenomenon

I think that YouTube has really outgrown anything that the three creators who started it originally dreamed it would become. For example, had they known this would happen, I'm sure they would have turned down the offer to sell it to Google. Along with its rapid growth and expansion, though, YouTube has also seen a lot of backlash and degradation.
According to Merch Dope, the number of people using YouTube is 1.3 billion, 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, and 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube each day.
No other streaming site has garnered those kinds of numbers.

Iconic Site Design

But how does it function? Is it easy to use? Let's take a look and see for ourselves, shall we? YouTube's site design is nothing short of iconic. It has inspired the layouts of nearly every video streaming service after it. And for good reason. It's logical, effective, and intuitive.
You will find the search bar at the top of the page. Below that, you will be given a bunch of videos to choose from, most of which will be based on your own viewing habits. They are separated into sections, starting with Recommended videos for you. Next, you will find news, latest posts, latest uploads by channels that you follow, YouTube mixes (popular playlists based on your viewing), and then even more recommended videos.
To the left of these thumbnail previews, you will find all of your personalized user features. This is where you can access your library, history, watch later, liked videos, your playlists, subscriptions, and a list of categories from which you can browse all of YouTube by tags like Fashion, Gaming, Sports, etc. Clicking on a video keeps the viewing process streamlined.
All of the comments are below the media player, and on the right-hand side of the screen are suggested videos for you to browse which are similar to this one. This is precisely how people get lost in YouTube rabbit holes. This site is too convenient, and it's leading us astray!

Too Many Ads Nearly Ruin an Otherwise Perfect Site

There are some notable flaws with YouTube, though they may not bother everyone. One big issue for me would be the number of ads you have to deal with. Many longtime users believe that YouTube has totally sold out, big time. If you've ever used the site before, you know how annoyingly long, frequent, and sometimes un-skipable these ads can be. Plus, oftentimes they'll interrupt your videos multiple times through. YouTube is one of the most ad-ridden sites on the web, without a doubt.
That being said, there is no other site quite like it on the web - at least not of the same size. Love it or hate it, YouTube will remain one of the world's top free video streaming sites, and it will remain one of the most popular websites on the internet.
Nicole Sommer
Nicole Sommer is a true soccer fan and loyal supporter of FC Arsenal and 1.FC Köln. She plays actively her self as central forward in the women's aquad of TuS Köln in Germany. In her spare time she spends a lot of time online including researching the soccer streaming space. Her research has been published in several online soccer magazines.
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Best soccer videos
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YouTube Free: Everything you need to know (Updated 2022).

YouTube is a site that needs no introduction. There is a good chance you have used YouTube before, possibly even already today. But if you are less familiar with the video streaming phenomenon, or just want to learn more about it (and how to take advantage of everything it has to offer), check out our Streaming Sites review of YouTube today!

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