- Yakov Lapitsky, now 34, shot video of YouTube founder Jawed Karim at zoo
- The site celebrates the 10th anniversary of its domain name on February 14
- Decade after 18-second clip, more than 1billion people use the video service
- Mr Lapitsky, now a professor in Ohio, didn't know video was going on site
In 2005 a man made history when he shot a short clip for a video sharing site, but he didn't even know what the webpage was for when he did it.
Yakov Lapitsky recorded 'Me at the Zoo', an 18-second video of his friend shot in front of elephants in San Diego, on April 23 that year, becoming the first person to shoot for YouTube.
The video, which has now been viewed more than 17million times, would transform the way that people use the Internet, watch television and communicate with each other over the past ten years.
The site is celebrating the 10th anniversary of its domain name today.
Yakov Lapitsky, now 34, unknowingly shot the first ever video uploaded to YouTube in 2005, a clip of his friend Jawed Karim (pictured) at the San Diego Zoo. The site turns 10 years old today
Mr Lapitsky, now 34, was working as a doctoral student at the University of Delaware when he shot his friend Jawed Karim at the San Diego Zoo speaking about the elephants' trunks.
He didn't even know about the video going up on YouTube until a month after his trip to California when Mr Karim posted it, according to the Toledo Blade.
Mr Karim, now 36, along with PayPal coworkers Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, had registered the domain name YouTube earlier that year.
The site would officially launch in November 2005, quickly racking up more than a million viewers per month by the next summer.
Now more than 1billion users use YouTube everyday and 300 hours of video, 60,000 times longer than the zoo clip, are uploaded every minute.
'I didn't think much of it other than it was pretty adorable,' Mr Lapitsky, now an environmental engineering professor at University of Toledo, told the New York Daily News.
What started as cute videos quickly became lucrative, and tech giant Google bought the company in 2006 for $1.65billion, when it was still unprofitable.
Founders Mr Hurley, Mr Chen and Mr Karim are all now in different ventures.
Mr Karim (left) has since moved on to other ventures after YouTube, which sold to Google in 2006. Mr Lapitsky (right), a doctoral student in Delaware in 2005, is now a professor of environmental engineering in Toledo
YouTube founders Chad Hurley (left) and Steve Chen (pictured in 2008) helped officially launch the video-sharing website in November, 2005
The site is now used for applications as diverse presidential debates, official music videos, web television series, clips of people's pets and Internet-only news outlets.
It has expanded to 75 countries and 61 languages and had $3.6billion in net revenue in 2013.
The video sharing service is expected to reach $18.5billion in revenue yearly by 2019, according to Forbes.
But the beginnings of the site were small, with individuals uploading their grainy camera footage by bits and bytes at a time.
The beginning days of YouTube were not dominated by music videos, and independent producers such as Adam Quick posted grainy self-shot videos (pictured)
Adam Quick, then 25, posted a video called 'Vernal Lullaby' in the first week of the site's experimental launch in May promoting a band called QOTSA.
The music video was the 15th ever video on the site.
Many of the first videos were silly snapshots of life captured on camera, people propping themselves up on corridor walls or a man getting his head shaved.
'It kind of blew us away,' Mr Quirk said. 'The videos just went straight up there to YouTube. It was pretty big for me.'
YouTube now has copyright agreements with major record companies, and most of the most popular videos are from artists' official accounts.
An entire economy has sprung up from independent content producers receiving money from companies to advertise or mention products on their channels.