Google Chrome is in the early stages of developing a tool that would bring YouTube-like video recommendation feeds to most any website that has the content to support one. The fresh feature has already found its way to Canary builds of Chrome, where it lets people see what videos are queued up next.
A commit titled "Enables Media Feeds" recently added to the Chromium Gerrit. According to the description, it "enables the Media Feeds feature, which allows us to fetch feeds of media items from websites that support the feature." How does the proposed Media Feed API function?
Websites that have video content would, in effect, be able to generate a feed of that content and serve it up to visitors to or registrants of the website. The feed would live in the browser, where site users could view and interact with it.
"To improve the functionality of [media controls], we want to be able to add support for sites to recommend media content to a user that might be completely new or they might be something the user has started watching," said the description of the API. "This allows us to deliver a much better experience to users."
As far as what that experience is, think no further than YouTube or Netflix, which has new videos just a quick tap away waiting to be watched. Three distinct tools would live in the API. First, Chrome could recommend related or relevant content, suggest users continue watching a video they already started, or simply play the next piece of content in the queue.
Google hasn't revealed much else about the fledgling API, and in fact, much of the documentation has been pulled from public view. Some limitations were, however, spelled out: the API targets video only, so music or other audio content (think podcasts) are not supported.
While the Media Feeds API works its way through Canary builds of Chrome, website developers would do well to test its functionality to see if it can be put to use on their own web pages. After all, it won't be of much use if there's no content to support it once it reaches beta or live status.