YouTube Was Originally a Crap Dating Site

By Aatif Sulleyman on at

It’s been a bloody eye-opening few hours for fans of tech origin stories. After Steve Wozniak revealed that Apple wasn’t actually founded in a garage after all, YouTube co-founder Steve Chen has dropped his own bombshell.

Speaking at SXSW, he said that YouTube was originally meant to be a dating site, but he, Jawed Karim and Chad Hurley didn't know how to get it to work. “We always thought there was something with video there, but what would be the actual practical application?” Chen said. “We thought dating would be the obvious choice.”

The boys then went around offering women $20 to upload video dating profiles, but nobody was interested. Karim has admitted in the past that he and his co-founders didn’t really know what to do with the site, and ended up turning to Craigslist in a desperate attempt to drum up interest. However, they finally struck gold when they took a step back and scrapped the whole dating angle.

“OK, forget the dating aspect, let’s just open it up to any video,” Chen said. A couple of years later, of course, it seduced the pants off Google, and the two have been co-existing harmoniously ever since. [Guardian, Motherboard]

Image: PabloLopez