Justin.tv: Looking Back on the Free Video Streaming Service

Gone but not forgotten

Justin.tv was shut down on August 5, 2014, so that its parent company could focus on growing its spinoff streaming video platform, Twitch. Twitch is now owned by Amazon and is one of the most popular platforms for streaming digital video broadcasts. This article exists for archive purposes.

Justin.tv was a live video streaming service created by Justin Kan, Emmett Shear, Michael Seibel and Kyle Vogt in 2007. The service aimed to help users stream events, parties, presentations, monologues, and more in more than 250 countries. Viewers could chat and interact in real-time with the video streamer as well as other users.

At the height of its popularity, the site uploaded about one new video every second. Users were watching more than 300 videos every month.

A screenshot of Justin.tv.

Why Justin.tv Was so Popular

The platform was great for communicating with a wide audience, especially one spread out across different locations. At the time, Justin.tv broadcasters could use their live videos to motivate others to take some form of action, pass on a message, encourage people to connect on other social networks, or promote a product or cause

Today, many social media platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, offer convenient, in-app live broadcasting tools.

About the Viewers

Justin.tv was free, but viewers who used the platform could sign up for a Pro account, letting them enjoy videos from all channels without ads.

To view videos, users needed a good internet connection and an up-to-date internet browser. Justin.tv worked in a web browser with no desktop application needed.

About the Broadcasters

Broadcasters had to deal with ads on their channels even if they had a Pro account. To get rid of ads, they had to opt for a Premium broadcasting page.

Like viewers, broadcasters needed only an internet connection, an up-to-date browser, and a webcam. An account required just a few personal details and a valid email address. Once their account was set up, broadcasters just pressed the red Go Live button, and the Broadcaster Wizard would guide them through the setup process.

Justin.tv's Legacy

Justin.tv might be gone, but there are many great tools available for broadcasting live videos to an online audience, including YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, and Facebook.

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