Lesson 1: What is YouTube?

What is YouTube?

YouTube is a free video sharing website that makes it easy to watch online videos. You can even create and upload your own videos to share with others. Originally created in 2005, YouTube is now one of the most popular sites on the Web, with visitors watching around 6 billion hours of video every month.

If you've ever watched a video online, there's a good chance it was a YouTube video. For example, almost all of the video tutorials on our website are actually YouTube videos! The video below is also a YouTube video—just click it to start watching:

Why use YouTube?

One reason YouTube is so popular is the sheer number of videos you can find. On average, 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute, so there's always something new to find! And you'll find all kinds of videos on YouTube—adorable cats, quirky cooking demos, funny science lessons, quick fashion tips, and a whole lot more.

Check out a few of the YouTube videos below! They should give you a good idea of the wide range of content available on YouTube:


Another reason YouTube is so popular: It's all about user-generated content. Instead of videos from major TV networks and movie studios, you'll find amazing and creative videos made by people just like you. And YouTube isn't a one-way street—you can jump in, record and share your own videos, and become a part of the community.

Is YouTube appropriate for everyone?

With so much content on YouTube, it's important to note that not all YouTube videos are appropriate for everyone, especially children under the age of 13. However, there are tools you can use, such as Safety Mode, to restrict the types of videos you can view. We'll talk more about this in our lesson on Using Parental Controls and Safety Mode.

About this tutorial

If you've ever used any of the other free, self-paced tutorials on our website, you may notice that this tutorial is structured a bit differently. Rather than combining related tasks into longer lessons, we decided to break up important skills into short, task-based lessons. We hope this makes it easier for you to jump around from lesson to lesson and find the answer you need. If you prefer to go step by step, that's fine too! Just work through the lessons in order.

Throughout this tutorial, you'll see that we've recorded our own YouTube videos (like the one above) to give you a bit more context and information on certain topics. In addition to our own content, you'll find several videos from the official YouTube Help channel to show you the specifics of using the YouTube interface.

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