Twitch pulls the plug on video-streaming site Justin.tv

Justin.tv began life as a blogging site that combined live video feeds and public chat rooms.

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Justin.tv in 2009. Screenshot by Rafe Needleman/CNET

Video-game-streaming service Twitch, the subject of rumors about a Google takeover, has shut down Justin.tv, a site that streamed live videos.

Justin.tv, which launched in 2007 as a "lifecasting" platform, announced the closure Tuesday on its home page.

"Twitch is now the focus of [Justin.tv parent Twitch Interactive's] resources. Unfortunately that means we need to shut down Justin.tv," the home-page notice said. "We thank all of our broadcasters and viewers for 7 years of live video memories."

Founded by Justin Kan and Emmett Shear, Justin.tv combined live video feeds and public chat rooms, allowing users to share and discuss everything they saw in their everyday lives. In the early days, Kan would walk around broadcasting the events of his life 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The site soon expanded its live-streaming landgrab by adding integration with social networks Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace, and an app that allowed live-streaming from smartphones. It eventually morphed into a large live-streaming network that kept archives of everything that's streamed online.

The move comes as Google's YouTube is reportedly jockeying to acquire Twitch for $1 billion. If completed, the acquisition would be video-sharing site YouTube's largest deal since it was purchased by Google for $1.65 billion in 2006.

"We are immensely proud of Justin.tv's legacy. Not only is it the birthplace of Twitch, but it was the pioneer of live video on the Internet," Twitch COO Kevin Lin said in a statement."It holds a special place in our hearts, as well as a special place in the history of the Internet, and will be missed."

In 2011, Kan and Shear launched Twitch, a streaming-video platform that allows game players to upload and share live game-play videos that can be streamed on Microsoft Xbox and PlayStation 4 game consoles. Initially available on PC, Twitch claims about 55 million visitors to its site each month.

 

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