Before there was Twitch, there was Justin.TV, a live online video broadcasting site that would eventually evolve into the game-streaming service we know today. With the much rumored $1 billion acquisition of Twitch by Google now apparently underway, the company has announced that it will shut down Justin.TV.
Launched back in 2007, the original purpose of Justin.TV was “lifecasting,” allowing users to broadcast themselves via live online video. Users began to use the service to live-stream their gameplay, and in one of those crazy new media course corrections, Twitch was born. The evolution of Justin into Twitch was not immediate. In 2011, Justin.TV launched Twitch.TV as a gaming-focused companion to their original service. Twitch’s operations soon became the focus of the Justin.TV team. In 2014, the company officially renamed itself Twitch Interactive, acknowledging that broadcasting live gameplay had become the largest single piece of their operation.
Throughout all of this, Justin.TV has soldiered on. However, with the Google acquisition looming, the company has decided that the time has come to prioritize their most lucrative service. In a statement posted on the Justin.TV website, the Twitch team acknowledged that Twitch will now be the “focus of the company’s resources” In a video posted to the sit,. members of the Twitch team reflect on the early days of Justin.TV when founder Justin Kan equipped himself with a head cam and broadcasted his life 24/7 on the site.
The statement also notes that all Justin.TV accounts have been closed effective immediately. Users will no longer have the opportunity to log in or retrieve any of their existing content. Those early adopters who used their Justin.TV accounts to access Twitch will find their accounts still active, but the company is urging these users to have their accounts formally converted to Twitch before September 5th. For those still wishing to livestream non-gaming content Twitch refers users to competitors Ustream, Livestream, and of course YouTube.
Share this article any JTV live-streamers you might know so they can start the mourning process!