H Is for How-To: #10YearsofYouTube

May 09, 2015

Mankind has searched for answers to life’s great questions for thousands of years -- perhaps since the times of the Babylonian philosopher Ptahhotep in 2880 BCE -- and we’ve passed down our learnings through dialogues, epic poems, essays and other texts. (Shout out to Confucius, Aristotle and Montaigne!)

And in the 10 years since YouTube’s launch, practical knowledge has been made more accessible than ever before -- for everyone from Tokyo to Tuscaloosa -- thanks to the humble how-to video.

There are more than 135 million how-to’s on YouTube, addressing every need, whim and question that can be typed (or voice-commanded!) into a search bar. A review of the top how-to YouTube searches reveals that, in large part, we all have similar sartorial concerns and scientific inquiries. We also turn to YouTube for style tips (how to make loom bands or curl your hair with a straightener), hygiene help (how to get rid of acne) and culinary curiosities (how to slice a mango).

Top 10 ‘How To Educational’ Searches 2012-2015

1. how to kiss

2. how to tie a tie

3. how to draw

4. how to get a six pack in 3 minutes

5. how to make a starburst bracelet rainbow loom

6. how to make a cake

7. how to curl your hair with a straightener

8. how to make a bow

9. how to make a paper airplane

10. how to dance

Some of us go through periods of ambition (how to become famous - or get a six pack in 3 minutes), others rebellion (how to make a paper airplane). In the end though, most of us are just trying to find someone to connect with. And while Plato might have told us “Love is the joy of the good, the wonder of the wise, the amazement of the gods,” you can’t learn the finer points without YouTube.

Watch our playlist below for some more classic How-Tos: