The iconic cover image of YouTube's very first video, "Me at the zoo," has undergone an unusual transformation. The updated thumbnail, now more vibrant and clickbaity, bears a striking resemblance to the style popularised by MrBeast's videos.
Originally uploaded in April 2005 by YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim, "Me at the zoo" marked the beginning of an era. The initial cover depicted Karim himself with his right hand raised.
Notably, the video's description has also been changed. Initially, it served as a platform for Karim to critique YouTube's decision to remove dislikes, and the updated description now features a mix of clickbait exclamations seemingly made to mock the way creators caption their videos nowadays.
The mystery deepens as the official source (or the reason) of these changes remains unknown. The thumbnail is said to feature an image from Russian designer Rostislav Demchuk, as suggested by a post in his Telegram channel. Demchuk himself expressed surprise at seeing his artwork as the new cover for the video. "So it happens that the first-ever YouTube video now has my thumbnail 😂 Albeit a rather simple one," shared the designer on his Telegram.
On Reddit, there's a speculation that Karim's channel was hacked or that he himself changed the thumbnail to mock YouTube's algorithm for promoting clickbait videos and later removed it.
Just a few hours later, the updated thumbnail mysteriously disappeared. Reddit users noted that this odd description was also promptly removed, adding an air of intrigue to the story. The YouTube community is now buzzing with speculation and curiosity about the reasons behind these sudden changes and their subsequent removal.
"Me at the zoo" remains the only video on Jawed Karim's channel, accumulating a staggering 300 million views over the years.