Justin.tv API: Like Twitter for Live Video

What are you doing? Now show me.

Live video startup Justin.tv has released a comprehensive API for consuming, organizing and creating content on its site (our Justin.tv API Profile). With it, the company hopes to be a Platform for live video.

From its announcement:

"We want to make live video ubiquitous across the Web. We know there are dozens of use cases that live video would be perfect for: customer support, pay per view entertainment, remote education, collaborative gaming...the list is expanding every day. Unfortunately we can't build all of them, there are just too many. Instead, we want to let all of you build these applications."

A powerful platform will benefit Justin.tv, just as Twitter's success is in its platform. Desktop and mobile clients make it easier to send and receive tweets. Developers have made sense of the stream of information by using the search API. Justin.tv is well placed to capitalize as live video enters the mainstream.

Animal video highlights with Justin.tv

There are already a number of example applications posted in Justin.tv's app gallery. Among the most interesting is a highlight reel of livestreamed animals. Also, Justin.tv has released a Twitter-integrated streamer as open source, so developers can learn from the code.

It's difficult to determine how Justin.tv differs from its competitors, which also have APIs. UStream has a one year head start with its platform (our UStream API profile). Lesser-known Floobs also seems to have matched the features (our Floobs API profile).

Other live video companies have chosen to charge for their APIs. Livestream offers a white label solution, while Stickam has a very small fee (starting at five cents per viewer hour).

Justin.tv also reserves the right to charge in the future for its API. Currently the video player is ad-supported. Of course, like many APIs, Justin.tv includes rate limits: 540 requests per hour, unless your app has been approved. Even then, the limit is 1800 requests per hour, though the company expects to increase the limits in the future.

Hat tip: Techcrunch

Be sure to read the next Video article: Crowd-Caption Your Videos With YouTube's Newest API