YouTube is celebrating its fifth anniversary this month with an announcement that the popular video sharing site, a subsidiary of Google, is now getting more than two billion page views per day. The number is particularly impressive considering it has doubled in the last eight months. Google has posted an interesting retrospective on the service highlighting the important role it has played in making Internet video stars through viral videos, how it has served as a platform for public figures to deliver their message or independent film-makers showcasing their work, and helped regular people disseminate information from areas inaccessible to the media, as in the case of the Iran protests.
YouTube has also had its share of problems related to intellectual property infringement, and despite its surge in popularity the service has yet to become a profitable venture for Google since the search giant acquired it in 2006. But the future looks bright for the company nonetheless. YouTube is now reportedly monetizing a billion videos each week, with ad revenue tripling in 2009. They are starting to bring professionally produced movies and TV shows to the site, and are seeing considerable growth on mobile devices and media center platforms.
To celebrate YouTube's birthday, Google has launched a new video channel, where it allows people to upload videos describing how the video-sharing site has changed or shaped their lives. Also, Conan O'Brien, Vint Cerf and Katie Couric have added playlists showcasing their favorite videos from the past five years.