While the supersite now uploads over 100 million videos every day, the founders had a completely different initial idea for the video site.
Originally, the founders hoped to create a dating site, first called Tune In Hook Up, similar to HotorNot.com, where users could upload videos of themselves to attract potential dates.
They bought the domain name, YouTube.com, on Valentine’s Day, but it was clear the site was not destined for finding love. One book even alleged they tried to pay women $20 to upload videos of themselves, but they declined the offer.
As a result of their failed dating site, they decided to direct their video site to a more useful approach. As Jawed Karim, one of the original co-founders, told USA TODAY, after being unable to find Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” or any coverage of the Asian tsunami in 2004, they wanted a website where users could upload videos that other people could search and interact with – hence YouTube, “Your Digital Video Repository,” was born.
And, in case you were interested, here’s the first YouTube video, uploaded by Karim, which has over 15 million views to date. Let’s hope this wasn’t also his Tune In Hook Up profile video: