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All right, so here we are in front of the, uh, elephants, and the cool thing about these guys is that, is that they have really, really, really long, um, trunks, and that's, that's cool, and that's pretty much all there is to say.

―Jawed’s full transcript at “Me at the zoo”

Jawed Karim (born: October 28, 1979 (1979-10-28) [age 44]) is a German-born American technologist and co-founder of YouTube. Many of the core components of PayPal, including its real-time anti-fraud system, were designed and implemented by Karim.

He is also known for uploading "Me at the zoo", the first ever video on YouTube.

Personal life & career[]

Karim was born in East Germany to a Bangladeshi father and German mother, but he crossed the Berlin Wall and grew up in West Germany. He moved to the United States with his family in 1992, two years after German reunification. He graduated from Central High School in Minnesota and he attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He left campus prior to graduating to become an early employee at PayPal, but continued his coursework, earning his Bachelor of Science in computer science in 2004.

While working at PayPal, he met Chad Hurley and Steve Chen. The three later founded the YouTube video sharing website in 2005. YouTube's first video, Me at the zoo, was uploaded by Karim on April 23, 2005.

After co-founding the company and developing the YouTube concept and website with Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, Karim enrolled as a graduate student in computer science at Stanford University while acting as an advisor to YouTube. When YouTube was acquired by Google, Karim received 137,443 shares of stock, worth about $64 million based on Google's closing stock price at the time.

In October 2006, Karim gave a lecture about the history of YouTube at the University of Illinois' annual ACM Conference entitled YouTube: From Concept to Hyper-growth. The lecture material also contained pictures and videos of Jawed, Chad and Steve from the garage days of YouTube. Karim returned again to the University of Illinois in May 2007 as the speaker at the university's 136th commencement.

More recently, Karim has launched a venture fund called University Ventures, with the goal of helping current and former university students to develop and launch their business ideas.

Jawed also showed disdain for YouTube's newest update where the dislike count was removed. He updated his description of "Me at the zoo" twice, the second update explaining in great detail his thoughts. He also commented on PewDiePie and Marques Brownlee's videos on their thoughts, saying "Removing dislikes is the dumbest idea since 2006." On the Update to YouTube's dislike count, he commented, "Matt doesn't look excited because he knows it's the wrong decision."


  • Jawed uploaded two videos on April 23, 2005; "Me at the zoo" and another video titled "Rolling down a hill", which he later took down.[1][2]
  • Jawed once had 68 videos uploaded by August 2005,[3] 121 videos uploaded by December 2005,[4] 45 videos uploaded by February 2008,[5] and only one video upload by July 2012,[6] many of which he took down for unknown reasons.
  • Jawed has commented on a few videos, which he took some down for unexplained reasons. He once commented on larfus' "Baby Fart" video saying, "rofl!!!!!!!!!!" in June 2005.[7] He also once commented on mw's "My Snowboarding Skillz" video saying, "Ouch!" sometime in 2005,[8][9][10][11] which mw responded to Jawed's comment.[12][13][14][15][16][17][18] He commented "you just saved me many hours of frustration. i used a shoe sole, and it worked perfectly!" on a video entitled "How to remove a lens filter that's stuck" in 2011.[19]
  • Jawed used to be the slowest channel to reach 1 million subscribers, but was overtaken by the Norwegian band A-ha.
  • He is of Bangladeshi-German descent.
  • He may have been interested in aviation, since he recorded airplanes taking off on many of his deleted videos.
  • As seen from Timeworks, Jawed may possibly still be active on YouTube, only he's not uploading anymore. but he's commenting on some certain YouTube videos though it's kind of uncertain if it's really Jawed himself or was hacked. [20]. As of recent, Jawed may still be active, since he put a new profile picture, a new channel banner, and Jawed even put timestamps in the "Me at the zoo" video. The banner confirms this, as it's a never-before-seen photo shot on his trip to the San Diego Zoo featuring the same elephants from "Me at the zoo".

Subscriber milestone[]

  • 1,000 subscribers: 2008
  • 2,000 subscribers: 2008
  • 5,000 subscribers: 2009
  • 10,000 subscribers: 2009
  • 20,000 subscribers: 2010
  • 30,000 subscribers: November 12, 2012
  • 40,000 subscribers: August 10, 2013
  • 50,000 subscribers: November 17, 2013
  • 60,000 subscribers: September 5, 2014
  • 70,000 subscribers: March 7, 2015
  • 80,000 subscribers: April 23, 2015
  • 90,000 subscribers: June 2, 2015
  • 100,000 subscribers: August 3, 2015
  • 200,000 subscribers: May 30, 2017
  • 300,000 subscribers: May 22, 2018
  • 400,000 subscribers: December 24, 2018
  • 500,000 subscribers: April 22, 2019
  • 600,000 subscribers: August 2019
  • 700,000 subscribers: January 2020
  • 800,000 subscribers: April 2020
  • 900,000 subscribers: June 2020
  • 1 million subscribers: July 16, 2020
  • 2 million subscribers: July 29, 2021
  • 3 million subscribers: July 13, 2022
  • 4 million subscribers: September 20, 2023