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YouTube Opens Doors to Web Developers

Popular video sharing site YouTube has announced an update to its YouTube Data API that enables developers to integrate YouTube into other sites and applications—and the new tools enable developers to deploy a “chromeless” player so embedded YouTube videos don’t have to look like YouTube, along with uploads, write operations, authentication, and internationalized standard feeds. The tools will enable developers to create applications and sites—potentially even full clones of YouTube—that can let users upload video, post comments, manage playlists, all without having to go to the “real” YouTube site.

“Of all the different requests we get as enhancements and possible suggestions to the API platform on YouTube, this is by far the most frequent request,” said YouTube co-founder and engineering lead, appropriately enough, in a video embedded in the YouTube API blog. “How do we allow our user with our with our application, our integration into YouTube, to upload their videos directly to YouTube?”

Developers can control embedded video players via JavaScript or Flash, and the chromeless player enables developers to customize the video playback mechanism to match their own sites and branding.

Although removing branding from YouTube-enabled applications and services might seem like an unusual move from a marketing perspective, YouTube’s goal is to set itself up as a ubiquitous video distribution platform. If it can create an ecosystem of applications and services which rely on YouTube to offer online video functionality for their users, YouTube solidifies its overall user base and increases the sheer number of eyeballs watching YouTube-hosted video.