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AOL Opens Video Search APIs

As it tries to become a successful advertising-supported portal, AOL hopes video search can become its bread and butter.

And today, the company plans to spread access to its video search platform like so many fishes and loaves by opening APIs (application programming interfaces) into its index of videos from across the web.

By opening access to its index of millions of videos, AOL hopes to encourage developers to build video search-driven applications.

The idea is that those applications will attract previously under- exposed new users to AOL Video Search.

The APIs are available in both REST and AJAX, AOL said.

AOL also announced a new way for content creators to submit feeds to that index through a free new product called AOL Director Accounts.

It's all part of a plan AOL set in motion with the acquisition of audio and video search technology firm Singingfish in June 2005.

They accelerated that plan when they bought the video search company Truveo and brought its founder, Tim Tuttle, on board.

And it wasn't so long ago that a plan to rely so heavily on Internet video left many skeptical, Tuttle, now an AOL Vice President, told internetnews.com

"We would go into meetings and people would say 'Well, I don't believe people are ever going to watch video on the Web," Tuttle said.

"Looking back, it's amazing people would ever make a comment like that. But the growth that's happened? It's well past even what we anticipated."

Now Tuttle hopes a slew of features including search based on tagging, ratings, and channels, as well as full RSS support will attract developers interested in building Internet apps to take advantage of that exploding interest in online video.