Alpha YouTube interface
Image by Marijn de Vries Hoogerwerff
This is the first YouTube interface (according to the internet archive’s WaybackMachine). Apparently they did not have a very clear idea about what their application would focus on, it looks like they considered some sort of dating site functionality.
YouTube, as many others who started Social/web2.0/bottom-up/UGC like applications, might have thought these applications needed to be about users connecting, and thus needed a "human" touch. I believe, following Jyri Engestrom and Karin Knorr it’s more about "object centered sociality". Social interaction is not so much between users but between users and their shared object… users/people share objects/interests and this is where social interaction takes place, how they are connected…in YouTube’s case the objects is the video (or the content of the video).