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Twitch was spun out of Justin.tv, an online platform for creating and sharing live video broadcasts
It's often said that your first idea will not be your best idea, and so it goes for a number of startups. Sometimes, a product or spin-off company turns out to be the real breakout star, thus leaving the original product behind.
Sometimes the company can be sold off; other times it is forced to shut down. It's a little sad, but it happens. The latter fate is now befalling Justin.tv, a social platform for broadcasting video, it was announced in a post on the company's homepage on Tuesday.
The service is being shut down now that that Twitch, its spin-off product that provides a social video platform for gamers, has been sold off: it was purchased by Google for $1 billion last month.
It's not like we shouldn't have seen this coming though, especially since the company officially changed its name from Justin.tv to Twitch Interactive back in February.
"Justin.tv pioneered live video on the Internet and spawned one of the largest video platforms ever: Twitch. Justin.tv was officially renamed Twitch Interactive Inc. in February of 2014 and Twitch is now the focus of the company's resources," the company wrote in the blog post. "Unfortunately that means we need to shut down Justin.tv. We thank all of our broadcasters and viewers for 7 years of live video memories."
All Justin.tv accounts have already been closed, and users "will be unable to access any settings or content." Videos that were created on Justin.tv are no longer accessible for download, since video archiving and VODs were removed on June 15th.
For those who used their Justin.tv account to login to Twitch, those accounts will still work on Twitch, but the site is recommending that they transfer their accounts to Twitch. Users are being given a full month to transfer their accounts.
Information that will be transferred includes usernames, email addresses associated with the account, and any Twitch channel that is currently being followed. Followers and VODS won't be transferred, though.
So what should Justin.tv users do now? Simply, go use a different site.
"If you are interested in broadcasting any video game, or gaming-related content, please check out www.Twitch.tv," the company said. "For other types of content, there are a number of live sites still out there who support live video broadcasting: YouTube, Ustream and Livestream, for instance."
Founded in 2006, Justin.tv was originally a 24/7 broadcast of the life of founder and CEO Justin Kan. Eventually it became a platform for over 60 different channels for people to broadcast their live videos.
In 2007, it raised an $8 million Series A from Alsop Louie Partners and Felicis Ventures.
Twitch, which allows gamers to record live broadcasts of their videogames, was spun-off from Twitch in 2011. In total, the company has raised $35 million, most recently a Series C $20 million investment led by Thrive Capital with participation from WestSummit Capital and Take-Two Interactive Software in October 2013.
Twitch put up this video, memorializing seven years of Justin.tv:
(Image source: justin.tv)
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Justin.tv is building the destination site for broadcasting and watching live video online while chatting with friends. Justin.tv tears down the walls of traditional video and social networking sites by enabling viewers and broadcasters to interact and exchange ideas in real time through chat and live video.
In the past, live broadcasting was only available to large media corporations who were willing to spend millions of dollars. Today, Justin.tv has democratized live video by shrinking all of the functionality of an expensive TV satellite trunk into a simple laptop or desktop computer.
The Justin.tv live video network is powered by Python Media Server - a custom built live streaming video server cluster. The network can support thousands of live broadcasts and over 100,000 simultaneous viewers and is 100% owned and operated by Justin.tv.
The Justin.tv chat system is powered by the JTV Twisted Chat Server - a custom built chat server that implements a wide variety of filtering and moderation techniques and relays well over a million messages a day.
Justin.tv has hundreds of thousands registered users and receives millions of uniques and tens of millions of pageviews per month.