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It’s hard to believe there was a time when the world didn’t have instant access to piano-playing cats, skateboarding dogs and dancing babies – but there was, and it was just one decade ago.

YouTube celebrated its 10th anniversary yesterday and it’s come a long way from its humble first post uploaded to the then-private website: a low-budget recording of co-founder Jawed Karim taking a trip to the zoo.

Ten years on, the DIY video-sharing site, which began as a three-man start-up, is now the third most visited online site and has more than a billion users uploading 300 hours of footage every minute. Not only that, but it has localised sites in 75 countries and can be navigated in 76 different languages – a number that covers 95 per cent of the internet user population.

With its status as the pioneer of video sharing – constantly redefining how the world experiences music, entertainment and news – along with its reactive attitude to other media advances, it’s no surprise that YouTube has reached such a prodigious level and stood the test of time.

From the ridiculous to the profound, content uploaded has had the public obsessed with a new way of surfing video content – and brands were quick to exploit the platform’s marketing potential. The fact that videos are shareable means that the public extends the company’s initial marketing efforts, while they can simply sit back and watch the campaign take off.

Not only have consumer brands gained from YouTube’s prominence, but charitable movements, too, have gone on to become cultural phenomena – take the Ice Bucket Challenge, for example. Vloggers and artists have even forged entire careers from their YouTube personas.

So, having spent hours and hours over the last 10 years with our good friend, YouTube, we say ‘happy birthday’ and look forward in anticipation to what the next decade will bring.