YouTube is growing up fast — the Google-owned video site today commemorates eight years of sneezing pandas and 8-bit flying cats.
That number has more than doubled since 2011, when YouTube celebrated its sixth birthday, and counted only 48 hours of video per minute (that’s two days’ worth of videos every 60 seconds).
“Millions of partners are creating content for YouTube and more than 1,000 companies worldwide have mandated a one-hour mid-day break to watch nothing but funny YouTube videos,” the YouTube team wrote in a blog post. “Well, we made that last stat up, but that would be cool.”
From Justin Bieber to Rebecca Black and “Charlie Bit My Finger” to “David after Dentist,” YouTube has grown into a global sensation.
“Over the years, you’ve continued to surprise us. And the past year was no exception,” the company wrote, citing Psy’s recent record-breaking K-pop follow up and Sesame Street’s 1 billion views worldwide. “That’s one of our favorite things about our global audience: you’re as unpredictable as you are creative and irreverent.”
YouTube is taking the creative reigns into its own hands with its inaugural Comedy Week — seven days of some of the biggest names in comedy, vying for users’ attention and appreciation. The weeklong even runs from May 19 to 25 on the YouTube Spotlight Channel.
The site recently reached a major milestone, topping one billion monthly users in March, only five months after Facebook reached one billion active users. Earlier this month, YouTube launched a new paid channels service in an effort to provide content creators with another means by which to earn revenue.
“We’d like to thank you for making YouTube the special place that it is. For showing us how we can create connections, transcend borders and make a difference,” the team said. “Thanks for making us better in big ways and small ones, too. We can’t wait to see what you can come up with next.”
Get a closer look at YouTube’s journey through its first seven years in the last year’s birthday video below.
For more, see PCMag’s review of YouTube for the PlayStation Vita and – for those who not charmed by Google’s site – instructions on How to Delete Your YouTube Account.