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YouTube Instant

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YouTube Instant is a real-time search engine built and launched in September 2010 by nineteen-year-old college student and Facebook-software-engineer intern Feross Aboukhadijeh of Stanford University that allows its users to search the YouTube video database as they type It follows on the heels of Google Instant, and has been described as a "novelty toy", a "prototypal digit to tie the “instant” bandwagon" as well as a "completely excellent way to waste 15 minutes"

Aboukhadijeh was offered a job from YouTube CEO Chad Hurley shortly after he created the site At the point of YouTube Instant's creation, Aboukhadijeh was a summer intern at Facebook, and has said that he is working on a secret Facebook project


  • 1 Origins
  • 2 Description
  • 3 Limitations
  • 4 Public response
  • 5 Meeting with Chad Hurley
  • 6 Spin-offs
  • 7 See also
  • 8 References
  • 9 External links


The launch of YouTube Instant was announced by Aboukhadijeh on Y Combinator’s Hacker News feed It is modelled after Google Instant — as a user types in the video they are looking for, "the engine guesses the video and begins playing it immediately"

The project started off as a bet with his college roommate Aboukhadijeh was quoted as saying, "It started out as a bet with my roommate, Jake Becker I bet him I could build real-time YouTube search in less than an hour" Aboukhadijeh lost the bet, for it took him three hours to complete the site, and another couple hours to polish it Aboukhadijeh said he found it "surprisingly easy to build"

Aboukhadijeh built the site by using the YouTube API He scraped YouTube search suggestions because Google blocked his server for making far too many repeated requests to the search suggestion endpoint Aboukhadijeh had to re-write the site to instead query YouTube directly for search suggestions, "eliminating the round-trip toserver", in order to address the problem


The YouTube Instant interface, which looks similar to the YouTube front page consists of a box designed for a user to type in his search letter or phrase As each letter of the search phrase is typed in, the server goes out into "YouTube video land" and tries to find matches for the search term similarly to current Google Instant search

YouTube Instant is essentially a free utility that strips down the normal YouTube interface to easily include a search bar, as well as a single and central video display as well as five smaller displays below it to present the top five searches based on the user's input As the user types in text into the search bar, YouTube Instant instantly identifies a best match and, after a short pause to confirm that the user is happy with the match, plays the video in the central display Beneath this, users are also presented with a smaller version of the file that is being played with a simple play and pause function as well as four other strong matches that the user can opt to select and play in the central panel instead

YouTube Instant, as Aboukhadijeh said, would be most useful when one is "looking for a serendipitous video browsing experience" In comparison with Google Instant, it might not be as useful if "you know exactly what you’re looking for, since you’re shown distracting YouTube videos on the way to your destination", said Aboukhadijeh He continues by saying that he thinks this is perfect for many internet users”

YouTube Instant presents itself as a "streamlined, neatly presented microcosm" of the YouTube universe, which provides a simple and effective means of finding and playing a specific file Like Google Instant, as soon as the user starts typing into the search bar, the utility looks for matches, and presents a file name to the right of the bar in a distinctive and quite stylish script, which changes as you continue to type, predicting the best fit based on your input It is virtually ‘instant’, as the name would suggest, and greatly reduces the time taken to find a file compared to the full version of YouTube


YouTube Instant possesses very little of the functionality offered by YouTube Both the name of the file and the user name of the individual that uploaded it are not shown to the user Also, there are no account-based features either, so the user cannot, for example, log in to his/her existing YouTube account and add a file to his/her favorites

Public response

Aboukhadijeh was quoted as saying "there was craziness," describing the response to the creation of YouTube Instant And by "craziness," Aboukhadijeh referred to the viral whirlwind that was generated:he was greeted by e-mails congratulating him, interview requests, and a server flooded with Web traffic Within six days, YouTube Instant had seen 715,000 visitors There was news coverage by media outletssuch as the New York Times, Sydney Morning Herald, and Washington Post Perhaps one of the puzzles of the buzz that YouTube Instant has created is how YouTube Instant went viral "I think after things cool down a bit, I should carefully consider how exactly YouTube Instant went viral and write up a blog post to share my thoughts about it all," Aboukhadijeh has said

Meeting with Chad Hurley

Most notable was the job offer from YouTube CEO Chad Hurley via Twitter "Want a Job" Hurley asked, to which Aboukhadijeh, who uses the Twitter handle FreeTheFeross, replied, "Is that a for-real offer" Hurley then asked if Aboukhadijeh was "ready to leave school" A meeting between Aboukhadijeh and Chad Hurley at YouTube's San Bruno, California, headquarters was scheduled for September 13, 2010 Aboukhadijeh stated "I haven't actually accepted the YouTube offer yet We're still figuring out how this is all going to work out, and nothing's final yet However, Chad and the engineers I spoke with were excited about the possibilities" MediaMemo however claimed that Aboukhadijeh "can't go work for Chad Hurley, because he’s already working for Mark Zuckerberg Aboukhadijeh disagreed with this claim, telling CNN that he didn't see how working at Facebook over summer would "prohibit his taking a job at YouTube"


There was suddenly a rush to develop an ‘Instant’ version of every popular online brand Shortly after the creation of YouTube Instant came the creation of Google Maps Instant, iTunes Instant, Instant Dictionary, Instant PubMed, WikInstantcom, Instant Wikipedia In particular, it was Michael Hart who put Google Images Instant together in less than two hours He accompanied both apps with a notice that says:“Btw, Google:I’m looking for a job too! Congrats Feross Aboukhadijeh!”, a direct reference to YouTube Co-Founder and CEO Chad Hurley’s public job offer to the person behind YouTube Instant It was Scottish engineer Tam Denholm who decided to wrap another layer around the concept of "instantization" by creating a mashup of these services called "Instantise," "which slaps all instant-based Web activity onto a single landing page for easier discovery and use"

See also

  • Social impact of YouTube


  1. ^ "Youtube Instant" Ghacksnet Retrieved 2010-09-12 
  2. ^ a b "Student Creator of 'YouTube Instant' Offered YouTube Job" digitalmediawire Retrieved 2010-09-12 
  3. ^ a b c d e "YouTube Instant Creator Worked on Secret Facebook Project" Retrieved 2010-09-12 
  4. ^ Henry Blodget September 10, 2010 "YouTube Instant" Businessinsidercom Retrieved 2010-09-12 
  5. ^ September 10, 2010 Brenna Ehrlich View Comments 2010-08-29 "Google Instant Is Cool, But Check Out YouTube Instant" Mashablecom Retrieved 2010-09-12 
  6. ^ John 10:10 AM CST "A Completely Excellent Way to Waste 15 Minutes:"YouTube Instant"" Retrieved 2010-09-12 
  7. ^ John 10:10 AM CST "ard|OCP - YOUTUBE INSTANT AND INSTANT SEARCH FOR IMAGES & GOOGLE MAPS" ICT Magazine Retrieved 2010-09-12 
  8. ^ John 10:10 AM CST "ard|OCP - Youtube and Maps Instant" Hardocpcom Retrieved 2010-09-12 
  9. ^ Matthew Lynley September 10, 2010 "Stanford student creates YouTube Instant, gets job offer from YouTube CEO" VentureBeat Retrieved 2010-09-12 
  10. ^ Matthew Lynley September 10, 2010 "Instant student creates YouTube and contacted via Twitter to work on the video site" Retrieved 2010-09-12 
  11. ^ "College Kid Makes 'YouTube Instant,' Gets Instant YouTube Job Offer" Gawkercom Retrieved 2010-09-12 
  12. ^ Kwek, Glenda 2010-09-13 "Instant fame:how to get a jobwithout even searching" Sydney Morning Herald Retrieved 2010-09-12 
  13. ^ "Google Instant Search to be Introduced on New Sites by Third-Party Mashups" Weeble Retrieved 2010-09-13 
  14. ^ a b "'YouTube Instant' creator finds instant fame" cnet news Retrieved 2010-09-13 
  15. ^ a b c September 10, 2010 Brenna Ehrlich View Comments 2010-08-29 "Stanford student launches YouTube Instant" Computers & Technology:Internet Retrieved 2010-09-12 
  16. ^ "College Kid Makes 'YouTube Instant,' Gets Instant YouTube Job Offer" Retrieved 2010-09-16 
  17. ^ Lynley, Matthew 2010-09-10 "Stanford Student Creates YouTube Instant, Gets Job Offer From YouTube CEO" The New York Times Retrieved 2010-09-16 
  18. ^ "Top Technology News:Stanford student gets instant fame with YouTube Instant" Retrieved 2010-09-16 
  19. ^ "YouTube Instant Developed by Stanford Junior" Retrieved 2010-09-16 
  20. ^ "Youtube Instant" Retrieved 2010-09-16 
  21. ^ "'YouTube Instant' creator finds instant fame" 
  22. ^ "YouTube Instant" Retrieved 2010-09-16 
  23. ^ "'YouTube Instant' Creator Still in College, Nabs Job Offer Via Twitter" Retrieved 2010-09-16 
  24. ^ "Uni Student Makes YouTube Instant, Gets Instant YouTube Job Offer" Retrieved 2010-09-16 
  25. ^ "Cómo hacerse famoso y humillar a YouTube en tres horas" Retrieved 2010-09-16 
  26. ^ "YouTube Instant delivers your gratification even more quickly" Retrieved 2010-09-16 
  27. ^ "A College Student Develops Youtube Instant" Retrieved 2010-09-16 
  28. ^ "AddTV:Student creates YouTube Instant" Retrieved 2010-09-12 
  29. ^ Twitter "Top Technology News:Stanford student gets instant fame with YouTube Instant" NJcom Retrieved 2010-09-20 
  30. ^ "Stanford student creates YouTube Instant, gets job offer from YouTube CEO" Retrieved 2010-09-13 
  31. ^ "Ferossorg" Retrieved 2010-09-13 
  32. ^ http://wwwauthenticviewscom/
  33. ^ ""YouTube Instant" Dude Can't Go to Work for Chad Hurley, Because He's Already Working for Mark Zuckerberg" Retrieved 2010-09-12 
  34. ^ "'YouTube Instant' creator, 19, finds instant fame" Retrieved 2010-09-12 
  35. ^ "YouTube Instant and Google Maps Instant Follow in Google Instant's Footsteps" Lifehackercom 2010-09-11 Retrieved 2010-09-20 
  36. ^ "iTunes Goes Instant, Thanks to 15-Year-Old" Fast Company Retrieved 2010-09-13 
  37. ^ "Instantly look up definitions & word meanings!" Instantionarycom Retrieved 2010-09-20 
  38. ^ "Search PubMed Instantly!" PMinstantcom Retrieved 2010-09-20 
  39. ^ "Search Wikipedia Instantly!" WikInstantcom Retrieved 2010-09-20 
  40. ^ "Search Wikipedia as you type!" The Instant Wiki Retrieved 2010-09-20 
  41. ^ a b "Google Maps and Images Get the Unofficial Instant Treatment" Fast Company Retrieved 2010-09-13 
  42. ^ Murphy, David 2010-09-12 "'Instantise' Combines Most Popular 'Instant' Search Spin-offs" PCMAG Retrieved 2010-09-13 

External links

  • Website

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