YouTube Instant lands YouTube job

BY GLENDA KWEK
Last updated 14:34 13/09/2010
youtube instant job
Sydney Morning Herald
Feross Aboukhadijeh's instant search was an instant hit with YouTube boss Chad Hurley, inset.

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It all happened in an instant.

When 19-year-old university student Feross Aboukhadijeh heard about Google Instant last week, he decided to build a video version of it - YouTube Instant.

Technology giant Google spent years building its new search Google Instant - which predicts what users are looking for as they type.

But in three hours, Aboukhadijeh had finished his YouTube version and posted the link on Twitter.

He soon received a reply from the head of YouTube, offering him a job.

"It started out as a bet with my roommate, Jake Becker. I bet him I could build real-time YouTube search in less than an hour," Aboukhadijeh, a computer science student at Stanford University in California, wrote in an email to smh.com.au.

"Sadly, I lost the bet. It took me three hours to finish it, and another couple hours to polish the user interface into what you see now at YTInstant.com. But I'm happy with the result."

Aboukhadijeh said he found it "surprisingly easy to build".

"I've built a lot of websites in the past, but none as quickly as I built YouTube Instant," he said.

Aboukhadijeh's feat of building a similar mashup for YouTube in just a few hours was so impressive he was offered a job - by the company's chief executive Chad Hurley.

"Heard of Google Instant? Well, I built YouTube Instant," Aboukhadijeh wrote on his Twitter page.

Less than 24 hours later, Hurley replied: "Hey @FreeTheFeross! Loving YouTube Instant... http://feross.net/instant/ Want a job? ;)"

A surprised Aboukhadijeh tweeted back: "Hey @Chad-Hurley. Glad you liked YouTube Instant! Is that a for-real job offer? ;)"

To which Hurley responded: "@FreeTheFeross Are you ready to leave school? :) I'll send you a DM (direct message)."

Aboukhadijeh said he was due to meet Hurley today to talk about the job offer.

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In the meantime, he is an intern at Facebook, working on a "top secret" application that will soon be rolled out to users.

The international attention he has received - articles have been written about Aboukhadijeh in The Washington Post and The New York Times - is amazing, humbling and an example of how much web users value speed, Aboukhadijeh said.

"Users always want things to be faster and faster. There's nothing faster than instant.

"I'm going to work hard over the coming days to add cool new features to YouTube Instant."

Google, which processes a billion search queries per day, said its new Instant product would save internet users a combined 11 hours per second, or 111 years per day.

It has been launched in the United States and will be rolled out in Australia in a few weeks' time on google.com.au. But Australian users can use the search on google.com.

- Sydney Morning Herald

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