Justin.tv is going back to its roots, with a new mobile video app that will allow new and existing users to stream live video from wherever they happen to be. The new Justin.tv Android (s goog) app enables users to easily create and share high-quality live video streams with their friends and social networks.
Justin.tv’s first official foray into mobile video as a platform provider hearkens back to its early beginnings, when Justin Kan began the enterprise to broadcast a live stream of his own life. Back then, the eponymous founder carried around a 22-pound mobile video kit to stream his life live to the Internet, but now Justin.tv users need only a mobile phone with a Wi-Fi or 3G connection to broadcast what they’re doing.
As a result, says Justin.tv CEO Michael Seibel in an interview, the new mobile app changes the use case for the live-streaming platform. While the company’s users previously were more or less chained to their desks (or wherever their PCs were) when they wanted to broadcast live, they now can shoot video from anywhere.
Justin.tv’s first mobile app is being released nearly 10 months after the first live-streaming apps from competitors Ustream and Qik began appearing in the iPhone (s aapl) app store. Seibel says the reason for the delay was due to his company’s plans to wait for the Android and iPhone platforms to be ready for the type of high-quality streaming that Justin.tv wanted to provide.
When asked why it took so long to get the app out to users, Seibel said, “If this platform isn’t ready yet, we could build the best app in the world, but it wouldn’t be a good consumer experience.”
That includes providing hardware encoding, which Seibel says is one of the key advantages the Justin.tv app has over competing apps, which were built on earlier builds of the iOS and Android operating systems. Other advantages include the ability to create an account, sign into and share with social networks like Facebook and Twitter without having to leave the app, and chat with viewers from directly within the application user interface.
One other key difference between Justin.tv and other platforms is its commitment to consumer applications. While Ustream, Livestream and Qik offer consumer apps, they have also have targeted enterprise and media customers with their streaming platforms. Justin.tv is focused on providing live-streaming tools to consumers and pushing user-generated content.
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