Basics: What is YouTube?

Imagine a TV station that shows endless clips on any topic you can think of, and also lets you upload clips of your own. That’s YouTube.

Videos are stored on the YouTube website, and you can upload videos to your own YouTube account.

Uploading means copying the video file from your computer onto YouTube – it usually takes about half an hour to fully copy a 10 minute video, but this does depend on the speed of your internet connection.

Videos are organised into virtual channels, and you can search easily for the clips you want to watch. Just type a description of what you’re looking for (for example, ‘cute panda bears’) into the Search bar at the top of the page.

Generally, YouTube videos are suitable for all ages, but occasionally you’ll come across something a bit edgy – foul language isn’t censored, but nudity and extreme violence are.

Of course, if you’re into that stuff, you can log in as an adult!

YouTube is free to use, and it’s free to upload videos too.

Small Google ads will appear at the bottom of videos as you watch, but you can get rid of them by clicking the little ‘X’ in the top right corner.

Avoid ads on YouTube videos by selecting the 'X' or, where provided, clicking a 'Skip this Ad' option.

When you upload a video, you can set it as ‘public’ – so everyone can watch – or put a password on it so only friends and family have access.

Quality? Well, it’s a mix. You’ll find everything from bad VHS recordings to beautiful high definition films.

YouTube is about everything you can imagine from the moving image. From independent short films, to classic ads, home videos, and more!