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Justin.tv has learned a painful lesson this week: If you’ve got a business idea, better to be discreet about it in public until it goes live. Just five days after learning that its competitor was building a service that lets users add live video streaming to their Twitter updates, Gannett-backed webcasting company Livestream rolled out a similar product. TechCrunch says that Livestream CEO Max Haot saw a demonstration of the Justin.tv system, called CamTweet, at the TechCrunch CrunchUp event and then jumped on the idea. (A Livestream spokeswoman confirms the story, saying it shows how rapidly Livestream, and technology in general, is moving.)
The Livestream product is called Twitcam.com. After users log in, Livestream automatically sets up a page for their live broadcast, and then includes a link to it in their Twitter feed. Others can chat about that broadcast via Twitter and the posts show up adjacent to the broadcast. It uses the Livestream API, which the company says other developers will soon be able to use to launch their own streaming services. CNET has a review.
As for Justin.tv, CamTweet is entering a private beta today, according to TechCrunch. All hope, of course, is not lost for Justin.tv in the Twittersphere. As TechCrunch notes, another Twitter service, bit.ly, has come from behind and surpassed tiny.url, the link-shortening service that came before it. And, in an e-mail, Justin.tv spokesman Evan Solomon points to Google (NSDQ: GOOG) Trends data showing that in terms of online buzz Justin.tv has a wide lead.