A History of Youtube Part 2: The Home Page

Once Upon a Time, Youtube was a haven for amateur writers and performers. But not anymore. This series examines just what happened.


When Youtube was first launched, it looked a lot more like Facebook. You had friends, and could communicate more directly with other users. The home page looked a lot more like your “Facebook Wall.” You got updates from your friends, what they’ve liked, (though at the time it was what they’ve “rated.” Youtube debuted with a 5 star system before transitioning to likes/dislikes.) what they’ve commented, and what they’ve posted. You could also subscribe to someone if you just wanted to see their new videos. The Youtube home page is your tour guide. It directs you to new videos and helps you discover new people. Think of it as the “discover” option on Spotify, or the friends finder on Facebook.

Take a look at the home page now. If you have a youtube account, logout first, since the home page would be tailored to what you’ve watched in the past. What does it look like? Who’s featured?

Ten years ago, the home page looked like this.


(don’t post until this is a real image.)

Note the “My Friends” tab at the top.

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