Google Instant Inspires Imitators for YouTube, Maps, Images

Programmers inspired by Google Instant have built their own predictive search applications for YouTube, Google Maps and Google Images. Their efforts could land them jobs at Google, Facebook or elsewhere.

Within days of Google's launch of its Google Instant predictive search technology, which leverages AJAX to let users see results as they type a search query, software programmers built similar applications for other Google Web services.

The most famous was YouTube Instant, built in 3 hours by Feross Aboukhadijeh, a computer science student enrolled at Stanford University, the birthplace of Google.

YouTube Instant lets users search YouTube video content in real time. YouTube co-founder Chad Hurley liked it so much he offered Aboukhadijeh a job via Twitter.

"I built YouTube Instant using a combination of the YouTube API and scraping YouTube search suggestions," Aboukhadijeh wrote on his blog Sept. 11.

"I initially ran into some issues when Google automatically blocked my server for making too many repeated requests to the search suggestions endpoint."

In 5 minutes, he rewrote YouTube Instant to query YouTube directly for search suggestions. Whether Aboukhadijeh will take a job with Google or not is unclear. He told AllThingsDigital he's already working as an intern for Facebook.

That has bidding war for someone's services written all over it down the road.

Meanwhile, programmer Michael Hart wrote two Web services: Google Maps Instant, built with jQuery and the Google Maps API, and Google Images Instant.

Google Maps Instant lets users quickly search locations all over the world, while Images Instant recalls images in rapid fire as users type queries.

To help users keep track of all the instant services coming to the fore, programmer Tam Denholm built Instantise, an aggregation Website for predictive Web services patterned after Google Instant.

See TechCrunch's amusing take on the aggregator here.

Does the surf of Google Instant-inspired Web services portend a fad or a fixture in the Internet applications market?

eWEEK holds this is probably a fad. However, it's also a vehicle for which talented programmers will be rewarded with jobs at Google, Facebook, Twitter or Yahoo for their efforts.