On Tuesday, Justin.tv, the video streaming service that created popular gaming video site Twitch, announced its immediate closure.
Visitors to Justin.tv’s main site or any of its subchannels will now be redirected to a farewell message announcing that “the Justin.tv website, mobile apps, and APIs are no longer in use.” Following that announcement, there’s a Q&A about the closure, and the first question – “Why?” – dances around the answer. The FAQ indirectly blames Twitch’s popularity: “Unfortunately, that means we have to close Justin.tv.”
Such an answer only fuels recent rumors and reports that have pretty much confirmed that YouTube will soon acquire Twitch for $2 billion. Should that happen, today’s news indicates that Twitch’s services will remain largely unchanged, as Justin.tv users are advised to transfer their accounts to Twitch before September 5, 2014. (Paid Justin.tv users have already converted their accounts to similar services on Twitch.)
At the time of going to press, Justin.tv’s main blog had not been updated to reflect this news; the last message, dated May 29, was an announcement that the live video archives would be removed on June 15.
Justin.tv was launched in 2007 to allow users to stream their own webcam, computer and television feeds over the internet long before YouTube allowed its own users to do so. It reached a notorious level of popularity thanks to its users streaming live sports feeds around the world, but eventually became so overwhelmed by game streaming users that it created a subsite, Twitch.tv, in 2011 so gamers could gather in one place .