OK, so not everyone will agree with my list of the best videos ever to be uploaded to YouTube – but hopefully, I at least present a decent variety!!
5. Gangnam Style, The First YouTube Video to Hit a Billion Views
Remember a few months ago when everyone was listening to that Korean song and doing a dance that looked like a horse-gallop? Remember how it made you complain that that song was everywhere? Well, it turns out you were right.
South Korean phenomenon PSY struck Internet gold with his song “Gangnam Style” and the result was the first YouTube video to reach more than one billion views. One. Billion. As in, nearly a sixth of the world’s population.
Not bad for a song where you didn’t even know what you were singing.
4. Lazy Sunday, One of YouTube’s First Viral Hits
It’s impossible to say what YouTube’s first viral video really was. But one contender was born on an indolent Sunday afternoon in 2005 when Saturday Night Live cast-members Andy Samberg and Chris Parnell rapped about their trip to the movies.
The video, which originally appeared on SNL quickly racked up views and revealed to networks the potential of the video site to reach audiences in an unprecedented way. In that moment it became clear that the industry was about to change.
Since then, NBC Universal has had the original Lazy Sunday video removed from Youtube and the best you can do is watch it directly on the NBC site (or just above this paragraph!!)…or a shaky, unfocused version shot off of someone’s TV that remains on YouTube
3. Smosh, Youtube’s Most Subscribed Channel
It’s pretty amazing that in this day and age two young guys can go from recording videos of themselves lip-synching the Pokemon theme song to being the most successful channel on all of YouTube. Amazing is the word, right?
What started out as a fun endeavor between two friends to create comedy videos has quickly become a seven-channel, nine million+ subscriber, wildly profitable production company.
So, yeah, go ahead and start that YouTube channel you’re always talking about. See where it gets you.
2. Christian the Lion, YouTube as The World’s Greatest Archive
The heartwarming story of the reunion between a man and his giant, jungle cat friend is one of the most widely shared and beloved videos on the Internet. And if it weren’t for YouTube, the entire story would largely be forgotten.
Taken from a 1970 documentary Christian, Lion at World’s End, clips were originally uploaded in 2002 and spread like wildfire once it hit YouTube. This video is a powerful reminder that YouTube is not only entertaining us, it is capturing and recording history at the same time.
1. Asmaa Mahfouz, The Video that Sparked the Arab Spring
Sure the internet is mostly a place for funny cat videos, but experts aren’t exaggerating when they talk about the potential of social networking sites like YouTube to connect people in a ways that they have before.
Case and point: the Arab Spring. Starting in December of 2010, protest and conflict in Arab nations boiled over as citizens began to express their dissatisfactions. A large part of this movement was spurred by information shared and distributed on social networking sites like Twitter or this YouTube video, where activist Asmaa Mahfouz calls on others to join her in the successful April 6 Youth Movement.
From breaking some of the biggest news stories in the world, to creating them, there’s nothing else quite like YouTube. Which means it’s totally OK to spend all day watching videos. Tell us some of your favorites in the comments.
For the less pleasing side of YouTube – here are the 5 worst videos ever.