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How 10 years of YouTube transformed the Internet

It all began with a 19-second video clip recorded at a zoo.

One of the founders of YouTube, Jawed Karim, uploaded the video on April 23, 2005, showing him describing the length of an elephant's trunk.

Some of the earliest memories were the viral videos.

"Anyone could be a star and there was no gate keeper," senior editor Bridget Carey said.

"It had what we call network effect in technology, where it went from big to much bigger to much bigger to much bigger," editor and CBS News contributor Nicholas Thompson said. "It just grew exponentially and exploded."

Korean pop star Psy's "Gangnam Style" became the most-watched video with over 2 billion views.

"It's made every human being accessible to every other human being, and out of that, there's a small number of people, but kind of an amazing group of people, who have become YouTube celebrities," Thompson said.

Justin Bieber launched his career on YouTube.

"YouTube is mainly a place for fun, that's the way that we think of it. But it is also a place for politics, both for good and for bad. Terror videos, they go up on YouTube," Thompson said. "There have been a lot of also important political videos that have gone up on it. There have been videos from both sides in the Syrian civil war."

Videos also shook up American politics, with Barack Obama being a great example.

"A lot of the way that Obama exploded is because he went viral on YouTube," Thompson said.

About a year after YouTube first launched, they were bought by Google for $1.6 billion.

"The most Google paid for anything up until that time," Carey said.

"YouTube had a very laissez-faire approach to copyright. They basically said, 'Put up everything. If somebody complains, take it down. We're not going to screen. We're not going to look.' And it was known as a place for pirated content, illegal content. When Google bought it, that was one of the central problems that Google had," Thompson said.

Now YouTube has a reputation of protecting copyright, Thompson said.

"The sheer size of YouTube makes it unlike anything on the web right now," Carey said. "There are 1 billion users on YouTube and 300 hours of video uploaded every minute. About half the traffic is coming from mobile."

While content abounds on YouTube, Thompson said it's been a struggle to make money through much of the company's history.

"The future for YouTube is to continue being the great repository for all the world's weird stuff. It's also, they hope, a place that you'll go and watch more shows," Thompson said.

They are "tinkering" with a subscription model, Carey said, similar to how Netflix works.

"It's still the early days, but YouTube changed the way we watched television 10 years ago and it's still in the process of evolving today," Carey said.

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