The P2P video service Joost is abandoning its proprietary desktop system and moving to a browser format, similar to Hulu’s.
Users still have to play host to a Joost plugin (18 MB or so), but by and large the move is another signal that the Internet’s video future will come without download applications that insist on control of your desktop.
NewTeeVee’s Liz Gannes got past the pre-beta password protection and posted an early review of the browser-based Joost. The influence of social media plays into the picture — Gannes reports that the home page has a Facebook-like component with which users can monitor what others are watching and interact, although not with IM (browser interface pictured).
Rivals Veoh and Jaman previously went to browser-rendered video.
CBS-backed Joost, only a year ago considered cutting edge, has been scaling back and adjusting its P2P video service for most of the year. Joost used live P2P streaming to carry March Madness games last spring.
Joost comes from Kaza and Skype founders Janus Friis and Niklas Zennstrom. The CEO is high-profile Mike Volpi, formerly with Cisco. Unlike YouTube and many other online video services, Joost focuses on professionally created content, but its offerings fall far short of the current pacesetter, Hulu, from NBC and Fox.