Pownce is the best way to share media with your friends online and one of the best parts of Pownce is the embedded images and video. When you post a link-type note with a URL to an image site such as Flickr, the Pownce website displays a thumbnail of that image. Video links display an embedded video player for sites such as Ustream, Qik, or Viddler.
At Pownce, we were adding these new video and photo service embeds on a case-by-case basis with custom code for each site. As we got more requests for supporting different services, we realized that we didn't want to pick and choose which services we would implement. We want to support as many services as possible!
While at dinner with Cal Henderson (Flickr), Mike Malone (Pownce), and Richard Crowley (OpenDNS), we chatted about this problem and chatted about creating an open standard for accessing embed code from a URL via an API endpoint. Cal drafted up the initial spec for this standard overnight and we named it OEmbed (or oEmbed).
OEmbed is an open web API standard for fetching embed code based on a URL. The spec is fairly simple and can be found at oembed.com.
Since creating OEmbed, we've been working with various photo and video sites to implement this standard. OEmbed is currently supported by Flickr, Viddler, Qik, Pownce, Revision3 and Hulu. Vimeo and Blip.tv are currently working on implementations. Pownce is the first consumer of OEmbed; we use these APIs to display inline images and video on the Pownce site. We've been working with Digg and Facebook to use OEmbed for story and share embeds.
We're excited about gaining more support and feedback for OEmbed. If you work on a photo or video sharing site and are interested in adding OEmbed to your API or if you'd like to use OEmbed as a consumer, please join our Google Group - we'd love to hear from you.