Knoxville (WVLT) - In this day and age, you can find almost anything online, but one site, www.youtube.com, has become very popular with users. That has made it very popular with advertisers and buyers, too.
In fact, just this week, the site sold for more than a billion dollars.
It's an evolution of information sharing from homemade videos to clips from TV shows and movies. The website youtube.com attracts millions of viewers and billions of dollars.
"Today we have some exciting news today... we've been acquired by Google," youtube.com's chief executive Chad Hurley said.
Monday, Google bought youtube.com for $1.6 billion in stock, a move marking the company's largest acquisition to date. So why would Google make such a purchase?
"I go, I watch a video, I go watch one of my buddy's videos, they recommend some more to me, I start building my own community, and that gets eyeballs on the site, that attracts advertisers, and there's the money." said Audrey Williams, an instructional technology specialist at Pellissippi State.
And while the money is a driving force for advertisers, shareholders, buyers, something else is attracting users.
"They're easy to use, that's the secret. It's pretty complex going on behind the scenes, but I don't care. I know that if i upload it, it's there, it works, and MySpace the same way," Williams said.
So while millions are signing up for these sites, could you or any Average Joe build a similar site? Sure. Experts say with enough experience, time and money anything's possible.
"But to get that community, that spark that everyone wants to be at that place, that takes a good dose of luck as well as technology," Williams said.
Professor Williams says it's that sense of community that keeps sites like "MySpace" and "YouTube" up and running.
"We wouldn't be anywhere close to where we are without this community, so thanks a lot," youtube's co-founder Steve Chen said.
Experts say the biggest challenge with starting-up a site of your own is the obtaining online space.