Tech

When YouTube first hit the web back in 2005, it attracted attention simply by making Internet video-watching simple rather than a glitchy hassle — and the fact that large numbers of real people used it to share their mini-movies with the world was a novelty in itself.

That was a long, long time ago. Today, with four billion hours of viewership a month, YouTube is more popular than ever. But it’s also part of an Internet that’s radically different than it was when YouTube was young.

Today, when YouTube videos become monstrous hits — such as the multiple versions of the Harlem Shake, which have scored tens of millions of views apiece in just weeks — it’s because people have shared them on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social networks that were either new or nonexistent in 2005. Video created for YouTube is increasingly slick and professional, which…

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