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YouTube to offer live streaming this year

Livestreaming of video is coming to YouTube this year.

In some cases it's not a bad thing to be fashionably late. Just ask Steve Chen, co-founder of YouTube.

Earlier this week, while sporting a furry coat at a warm, packed YouTube party in New York City, Chen managed to spill some juicy details about the company's plans while talking to Sarah Meyers, the host of vodcast Pop17. Chen confirmed that live video was coming to the service in "2008" and that the company has wanted to feature it for some time, but have only recently been able to get the ball rolling because of having higher resources as a part of Google:

"Live video is just something that we've always wanted to do, we've never had the resources to do it correctly, but now with Google, we hope to actually do it this year."

It's certainly late in the game to jump in, although YouTube's already got some of the groundwork laid out. Each user already has their own channel, along with a subscription service built in that lets other users link up and get notified on when new content arrives. I'm assuming the process would get reworked a little to provide for real-time notification given the short notice of the medium.

YouTube's also had Webcam functionality since late 2006, which incidentally popped up at the same time as Streams, a product that lets YouTube users chat with one another while watching a video. It's part of YouTube's labs section, TestTube.

Clearly saying 2008 is a bit nebulous here in February, but since rival Yahoo has recently released its Live service, there's a little more pressure to play catch-up.

[via NewTeeVee]