hunter walk

@hunterwalk

How YouTube Ended Up On The First iPhone: A Tweet Thread

I periodically delete my tweets so wanted to preserve this story from yesterday since people seemed to appreciate the historical context as the iPhone turns 10. I worked at Google from 2003–2013 and at YouTube 2007–2013.

Apple approached YouTube abt being default app on 1st iPhone. Making it happen ensured the “YouTube of mobile” was YouTube itself….

…YouTube was still operating pretty independently frm GOOG at that time, & our BD team did great job managing Apple & Google interests…

…was actually API deal w some add’l language around functionality, bec Apple built the app itself. They wanted that control…

…i hated the shitty old TV icon they chose but i guess no way they were gonna put the YT logo … Apple didn’t like “UGC video”…

…but knew they needed reasons for the masses to buy a smartphone, & likely their 1st data plan. YouTube was mass market….

…besides default footprint on iPhone, placement made all other carriers approach us & want 2b “YouTube enabled” vs us giving them $$$…

…we wanted consumers to ask “does this phone support YouTube” when they were purchasing their 1st smartphone. Carriers marketed us…

…2012 iOS6, time for YouTube to take back control of our app, which was still Apple-created. Made gutsy move to not renew agreement…

…great YouTube/Google mobile teams (eng, product, marketing, BD, etc) all worked together. Risky to be removed from all iOS6 devices!…

….millions & millions of phones — YouTube app disappeared!!! But consumers reinstalled from App Store, promos from other Google apps….

…was one of most interesting & consequential series of product decisions during my time at YouTube. Not w/o controversy internally /fin

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