Services & Software

AOL opens video search engine to developers

New APIs are designed to get more people to integrate AOL's video search into Web sites and blogs.

AOL has opened up its video search engine to developers in an effort to get more people to integrate its service into Web sites and blogs.

On Monday, the Time Warner subsidiary released a set of APIs, or application program interfaces, for building video search-driven applications. The APIs offer a number of functions, including advanced keyword search, tagging, rating, RSS and support for sharing videos via blogs and social networks.

The goal for the APIs is different than the one that AOL had in mind when it opened up a number of its other applications to developers--notably its instant-messaging client and IP telephony service AIM Phoneline. The AIM and AIM Phoneline toolkits were designed to enable modifications to the existing software, whereas the purpose of the new video-search APIs is to spread its video search engine to sites other than AOL.

The APIs are available in both REST and AJAX formats.

AOL's video search engine is an access point for largely third-party video such as clips from the BBC and CNN. It should not be confused with AOL Video, which is a portal for viewing "channels" of online video--TV shows and movies--for a price.

To offer the APIs, AOL has opened a Video Search Developer Center. The site showcases a variety of mashup applications already developed with the new APIs. They include Flash widgets for sharing videos YouTube-style, as well as PHP and Java versions of customized search results.

AOL also started an initiative on Monday called the AOL Director Account program, which is geared not toward developers but rather toward online video creators and publishers. With a Director Account, registered users--who must have an AOL or AIM membership--can add their content to AOL's video search engine index by submitting their RSS feeds.

Monday's announcements also included a partnership with Intel to bring exclusive content to Viiv-based computers.