YouTube is the most popular video streaming platform in the world. The product was developed by three PayPal employees in 2005. Due to its breakout in popularity, Google bought the product in 2006 for $1.65 billion, and now it is a subsidiary of Google. YouTube is a massive platform, and it is super rich in feature. It does not only let the users watch videos but also lets the creators upload video from the same platform. Moreover, there are free and paid services, live video streaming feature, 3D video and 360-video playing feature, and whatnot.

Every minute, 400 hours of content is getting uploaded, and there are billions of hours of content being watched every day. In fact, it is the second most popular website in the world in terms of web traffic. To create such a platform, there are multiple programming languages used for sure. Today, we are going to look at the programming languages used for its creation.

The Development Of YouTube –

The Beginning – Since YouTube was not a Google project from the beginning, the three creators relied on PHP for its development. They were inspired by various dating sites that were primarily built on PHP. In fact, they were highly impressed by Facebook which still uses PHP at its core. But the programming language used to develop YouTube changed drastically over the years especially after the accusation of Google. So, at the very beginning, YouTube was solely based on PHP with the help of the three web world pillars HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

This has been confirmed by the YouTube creator Chad Hurley in an interview. But within a year, the Google acquisition took place, and Google had the upper hand on the technologies to be used. Google felt the need to make the platform robust and make an upside down change in the technologies and programming languages used in YouTube. By the time Google bought the company, the platform was already getting millions of views, and it was the next best thing after social media, and it still is.

The Transformation – It is hard to believe that PHP is no more used in YouTube. So, Google completely changed the core part of the coding for the platform. Currently, the most stakeholding programming language behind the development of the platform form is Python. From 2007, Google has been making the transformation, and the new version of the website was launched in March 2010. The new design with Python at the core simplified the user interface, and it was a major hit among the users. The product manager said that the previous version with PHP had a lot of clutters and they had to step back and develop the new product completely in most of the parts keeping the core idea alive. Ironically, last that year, one of the creators of YouTube Hurley stepped down as CEO of the company.

Wikipedia also mentions that C has been using in some part and CPython is used for that purpose. Moreover, there is mention of C++ and Java, but they are not really used for API building as many experts thought at the beginning. They are likely used for technical parameters on the server side to handle the huge traffic efficiently. Java has been used through Guice platform. In December 2011, Google introduced a new UI that differed from the previous one quite a lot, and it is the biggest major change using the latest technologies of JavaScript. The darker shade was also introduced for night mode.

The Recent Developments – There are major changes and additions introduced by Google on their YouTube platform every year. Among the additions, YouTube Gaming was introduced following the success of Amazon-owned Twitch for the gaming segment. It is said that the live streaming of game playing has been developed in Google’s own programming language Go. In fact, Google has a long-term plan for converting the core language from Python to Go. YouTube Music and YouTube Red are two more major additions. A community feature is a great option for the creators to inform the subscribers in small posts rather than going to social media pages. YouTube also has varieties of apps such as YouTube Go, YouTube Music, YouTube TV, YouTube Premium all of which use Java as the core. They also have iOS apps for which Swift is the language used.

Conclusion –

YouTube seems to have made the right decision by making the transition from PHP to Python, and now they are considering a total shift to Go through the sustainability of Go is still under question. There is no doubt that the product has got better with time and there is still quite a lot of way to go. Python has literally added the dynamic, scalable and flexibility features to YouTube. In short, Python, JavaScript, HTML 5, Go, Java, C++, and C are the main languages behind YouTube.