updated 04:39 pm EDT, Tue August 5, 2014
Company shutters video service to focus on gaming site, old videos inaccessible
The online streaming video site that spawned Twitch has announced that it is closing down, effective today. Justin.tv, which was launched in 2007 by Justin Kan, Emmett Shear, Michael Seibel and Kyle Vogt, changed its website to a goodbye video and answered some questions about the future of the company and its users. The streaming service was touted as a "life streaming" platform that allowed a look into the everyday lives of the users, and its founders.
While the service started out as a way to build up a series of channels that mimicked reality television, the site turned out to be much more. Justin.tv was one of the first streaming video services, launched around the same time as Ustream, which used text chat in conjunction with streaming video for real-time interactions.
The company, which changed its named to Twitch Interactive in February, stated that the reason for the shutdown was Twitch. Rather than run two different services, the rebranded company wanted to keep its focus on the game-streaming site. Twitch originally began as an offshoot of Justin.tv, but surpassed the original site quickly.
"Justin.tv pioneered live video on the Internet, and spawned one of the largest video platforms ever: Twitch," said the company. "Justin.tv was officially renamed Twitch Interactive Inc. in February of 2014, and Twitch is now the focus of the company's resources. Unfortunately, that means we need to shut down Justin.tv. We thank all of our broadcasters and viewers for seven years of live video memories."
However, it doesn't appear to mean good news for anyone that was still actively using the service. The company states that the video archiving and videos on demand were already shut down on June 15, which was indicated in a May blog post. With the shuttering of the website, videos cannot be retrieved. It doesn't appear that a service is in place to allow former users to receive the videos in another manner, either. All apps, tools and APIs have been disabled as well.
Justin.tv users that had been using their accounts for Twitch will still be able to do so, but the company is asking that they transfer to a full Twitch account by September 5. The transfer will retain the username, but followers from Justin.tv and Facebook accounts will not carry over. In the statement talking about the move, the company reminds users that Twitch is only for gaming content. Those wanting to continue their video streaming in other areas will need to move to another service.
On top of the closure to focus on Twitch, the move could be seen as a step required in the deal between Twitch and Google. Late last month, reports surfaced that an agreement between the two companies had been reached, which could bring Twitch under YouTube. The acquisition deal is said to be worth $1 billion.