TED, the international conference known for tackling “ideas worth spreading” just topped a billion views for its videos. That’s a billion with a “b.”
That milestone didn’t just happen on its own – TED has been gathering momentum online for a decade.
The first step came in 2001, when TED’s current curator Chris Anderson’s Sapling Foundation took over and turned the company into a nonprofit organization. Five years later, in 2006, an experiment to post six TED-talk videos online led to the birth of a viral phenomenon. Today, these videos are watched globally, and the speakers behind them are some of the most influential people in their fields, working to share insight on issues not often seen by the general public. But with TED’s enormous success has also come criticsim and charges of elitism. Among other things, TED has taken heat for claiming to be for the masses, yet charging exorbitant ticket prices for attendance. And these days, even TED has competition.