Fans of YouTube’s history are likely aware of “Me at the zoo,” the oldest video on YouTube which was published on April 23, 2005. Recently, people began sharing a different video that says it was published more than two weeks earlier, but all evidence points to this video being a fake.
Titled “Welcome to YouTube!!!,” the video is listed as having Premiered on April 6, 2005. This early publish date quickly drew the attention of many on social media, as it would make the video the oldest on the platform – if it were true, that is. This video is quite simple, with just a YouTube logo, “By: Chad, Steve, and Jawed,” and “Welcome to YouTube!!!!” on a blue background with the song “Jump” by Van Halen playing.
The channel itself is old, listed as being from September 2005, but that’s several months after the claimed upload date. The channel’s about page attempts to dismiss this, claiming “This join date has been reset during a database update.”
There are several other signs proving the upload date of the video is fake, including the resolution of the video – up to 480p. YouTube didn’t introduce 480p video to the platform until 2008, almost three years after the video claims to be from – additionally, the video is listed as having “Premiered” in 2005. Live-streaming was only officially added to the platform in 2022, and it wasn’t until 2022 that YouTube introduced the ability to Primiere pre-recorded videos.
Finally, a quick look at the HTML reveals some more metadata from the video, including the true upload date, which was January 25, 2023.
While it would be a really cool thing for a video to have lasted undiscovered on YouTube for a really, really, really long time, it is nice that “Me at the zoo” can continue to be known as the oldest video on YouTube. And that’s pretty much all there is to say.
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