Google's "YouTube Direct" Open Source Project Lets You Solicit Videos on Your Site

If you have (or are working on) a site that could be enhanced through user-submitted videos, you'll want to check out YouTube Direct.

The new open source project from Google leverages YouTube's public APIs to provide developers with an easy way to integrate video submission functionality to existing sites. One of the key advantages of YouTube Direct is that it provides a customizable front end that utilizes YouTube's existing infrastructure for video hosting and distribution.

The YouTube API Blog summarizes some of the key benefits of this new project:

Users upload their videos directly on the developer's website, after which the developer can review the submissions and select the best ones to showcase. Since these videos live on YouTube, users are able to reach YouTube's large user base directly while also getting broader exposure and editorial validation for the videos they create.

Originally developed for use by media organizations (including ABC News, Huffington Post, NPR, and others), YouTube Direct has been released under the Apache 2.0 license for general use. YouTube Direct is an App Engine application (Java-based) and it consists of two components:

  • An embeddable Container that includes AuthSub Authentication and video upload to the YouTube Platform
  • An administrative panel that allows you to manage and preview video submissions among other things

YouTube Direct Admin

One of the best things about this project is that it provides end-to-end functionality on both the client and server side, thereby allowing developers to implement YouTube Direct in a relatively simple way (and without much coding). The reliance on YouTube's existing APIs also means that it is readily extensible.

YouTube Direct Architecture

There are several resources available for developers, including a Getting Started Guide, FAQs, the project code, and an issue tracker. The embedded video below also provides a good overview:

Be sure to check out our YouTube API Profile for additional resources, including a list of hundreds of mashups that utilize this powerful API.

Be sure to read the next Video article: Music Site Uses YouTube API - Causes Record Labels to Pull Videos