Facts about the Internet that will blow your mind

Browsing the Internet

The first website ever created is still online.

The creator of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee was working for CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) when he created the first website. It was published on 6 August 1991 and explained what the World Wide Web project was, the people involved in it, technical details of the World Wide Web and more. The current online version of the website is actually a copy since the original was not preserved. It has undergone 2 years of revision but the original information is still the same. If you’re interested in taking a look you can find it at http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html.

The first ever item sold on eBay was a broken laser pointer.

This unusual item was bought for $14.83 in 1995 by a man who claimed to be a collector of broken laser pointers. Back in the 1990s, eBay went by the name AuctionWeb.

Mark Zuckerberg has the number “4” as his ID on Facebook.

This means he claimed the fourth account ever on Facebook. The first three accounts were used for testing purposes and do not exist anymore. Interestingly, the first non-founder to join Facebook is a man that goes by the name of Arie Hasit. He was Zuckerberg’s roommate at Harvard and now lives in Israel where he is studying to become a rabbi.

Symbolics.com is the first and oldest registered domain.

On 15 March 2015 Symbolics.com will be celebrating 30 years of existing online. Symbolics, a US computer corporation, was the lucky receiver of this first domain, back when it was free to get one. Today it serves as a historic site after it was bought for an undisclosed amount by XF.com Investments.

It only took 4 years for the Internet to gain 50 million users.

This feat was only achieved by radio after 38 years and television got there after 13 years. In 2014, the total amount of Internet users worldwide hit 2.92 billion.

The first webcam was used to monitor a coffee maker.

At Cambridge University’s computer lab a webcam was placed to focus on a coffee pot to see when the coffee was finished brewing. The purpose was to help people working in other parts of the building avoid pointless trips to the coffee room. All of the employees had a live 128 x 128 greyscale picture on their PCs to check the status of the coffee pot.

The “@” sign used in e-mail has many creative nicknames in other languages.

In Dutch it is called an “apenstaartje” (little monkey’s tail), in Swedish and Danish its name is “snabel-a” (the letter A with an elephant’s trunk) and Italians call it a “chiocciolina” (small snail). Other curious names include mouse’s tail, sleeping cat, little duck and little worm.

1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month.

And that’s only the beginning of the amazing statistics on this content sharing website. Over 6 billion hours of video are watched every month on YouTube with 300 hours of video content uploaded each minute.

80% of traffic to YouTube comes from outside of the United States. There are more than a million creators of YouTube content from over 30 countries worldwide and all of them earn money from uploading content to the site. Some YouTubers can even earn up to six figures a year.

The number of hours people are watching YouTube videos monthly goes up by 50% year over year and half of all YouTube videos are watched on mobile devices. Approximately 60% of YouTube video creators’ views come from outside of their respective home countries.

The first-ever video uploaded to YouTube was called “Me at the zoo” by Jawed Karim, one of the site’s co-founders, in 2005. It is a mere 18 seconds long and has over 17 million views. You can watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNQXAC9IVRw

The first Google Doodle was intended as an “out-of-office” message.

In 1998 Sergey Brin and Larry Page, co-founders of Google, went to the Burning Man festival in Nevada for a weekend. To show that they won’t be available to fix any technical issues on that weekend, the guys at Google designed an image based on the festival’s massive burning effigy to put on the site’s homepage. And so the Google Doodle was born.

The total amount of Internet data amounts to approximately 5 million terabytes and counting.

61% of that data consists of videos. Google has the largest index of the Internet, but it is claimed that the company has only scanned about 0.004% of that amount. It has been said that all that data put together, taking away the mass of hard drives and so on, would weigh the equivalent of a grain of sand.

A New York librarian coined the term “surfing the Internet”

In 1992 American librarian and author, Jean Armour Polly, known as Net-mom online, wrote a beginner’s level article about the usefulness of the Internet. She knew that this article was going to be one of the first of its kind and wanted to make a big impact with the title. While writing the article Polly was using a mousepad with a picture of a surfer on it with the slogan “Information Surfer”. It was this image that inspired her to use surfing as a metaphor for browsing the Internet.