TED Talks: 5 years and 500 million served

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On June 27, 2006, we flipped the switch on TED Talks, bringing talks from TED to the world for the first time. It was early days for online video — YouTube was just a year old; the video iPod had been around for six months — so we launched with six talks and modest goals, and have been amazed by what’s happened since. Five years and nearly 1,000 videos later, TED Talks have been watched 500 million times, and translated into 81 languages by volunteers worldwide.

In fact, we’ve seen a number of key milestones in the last month: We welcomed our millionth fan on Facebook and our millionth iPad app download, and marked the 2000th TEDx event.

We’re filled with gratitude for the global community that has made all of this possible: the TEDx organizers, the translators, the corporate partners who support our work, the speakers who offered the world their words, and the wider TED community, who amplify the talks, and continually energize us with their own ideas. And thanks to the growing global reach of TEDx, and our army of translators, we can expect to see great talks in many different languages in the future.

As we approach the next five years, we’re thrilled by the prospect of sharing the best speakers in any language.

And we’d love to hear from you! Jump in to our Twitter feed or Facebook fan page and answer the question: Why do you watch TED Talks?

Photo: TED / James Duncan Davidson