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Stanford Junior Lands Job Offer after Creating ‘YouTube Instant’

Next time your mother tells you Twitter is just a bunch of noise about Justin Bieber, you can confidently tell her to bite her tongue. Stanford University Junior Feross Aboukhadijeh received a job offer from YouTube cofounder Chad Hurley via Twitter after he released YTInstant.com, his version of Google Instant for YouTube.

Google, Inc. released Google Instant earlier this month. This build of its search engine does not require the user to click or press enter when searching; instead, Google Instant predicts your search and begins to display results as you are typing. Google says the tool could save two to five seconds per search.

YTInstant operates in a similar manner, but instead of displaying search results before you press enter, the site starts playing videos as you type. The site is a bare bones build of YouTube, and all the controls are normally included in the player are stripped away. The only option on the page is to type away.

Peter Kafka over at All Things Digital got Aboukhadijeh to answer a few questions about his new project, which stemmed from a bet with this roommate:

I decided to do this after hearing about Google Instant. I thought that instant search for YouTube videos would be really cool. My roommate bet me that I couldn’t code it up in an hour. It ended up taking three hours, so he won the bet.

Aboukhadijeh may have lost the bet, but he doesn’t seem concerned. The project did land him a job offer from YouTube, after all. The Stanford computer science major won’t be taking the job offer, though. He is already interning for Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook where he is working on something “really cool.” Cooler than YouTube Instant? One can only hope.

Google Instant has inspired more than one “instant” use of search API by someone young enough to make you feel unaccomplished. 15-year-old Stephen Ou created iTunes Instant, which allows users to instantly search the iTunes Store. Brenna Ehrlich of Mashable.com gave it a try, and she found it to useful for searching for even obscure songs. She did report, however, that iTunes Instant struggled when searching for both artist and song.

YouTube Instant and Aboukhadijeh’s subsequent job offer have been the headline makers this week, though. You might be wondering what use an instant video player might have, and that is a reasonable question. It certainly doesn’t replace YouTube’s primary site, and the instant video player can create more frustration than anything else when you can’t find the video for which you are looking.

On the other hand, YouTube instant is perfect for Justin Bieber fans. I only had to type the letter “J” before the video for “Baby” started playing in my browser. If that isn’t an instant fix for those infected with Bieber Fever, then I don’t know what is.

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