- YouTube launched nearly 15 years ago, in February 2005.
- Some of the stars from YouTube’s early days helped make the platform an essential part of internet culture.
- Here’s what those stars — ranging from Smosh to beauty influencer Michelle Phan — are up to today.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Nearly 15 years have passed since YouTube officially launched, ushering in an age where anyone with a camera could post videos to their own personal channel.
As YouTube continues to grow older, we took a look back at some of the stars who have helped make the platform an essential part of internet culture.
These creators were incredibly popular back in the earliest days of YouTube and still have fan bases numbering in the millions today.
Here’s what they’re up to now:
In 2005, Ian Hecox and Anthony Padilla — or "Smosh," as the duo is known — uploaded a video of them dancing along with the "Power Rangers" theme song.
Smosh became wildly successful and has amassed 24.5 million subscribers. Padilla left Smosh in 2017 to pursue his own YouTube channel and now has 3.4 million subscribers of his own. Hecox and the rest of the Smosh crew were supportive of Padilla’s desire to create his own videos.
When Freddie Wong started his YouTube channel in 2006, he focused on making short action films with a dose of comedy.
- From PewDiePie to Shane Dawson, these are the 23 most popular YouTube stars in the world
- Samsung revealed that it’s possible for your smart TV to get a virus, just like a computer. Here’s how to make sure your TV isn’t infected.
- 5 reasons I still use a big, heavy desktop that sits in one room while everyone else is going mobile