Huffington Post home page after launching HuffPost Live

Homepage screenshot of HuffPost launching its live video programming. (Huffington Post / August 13, 2012)

The HuffingtonPost this morning launched their live Internet video channel and it's rocking. The hosts are using Google Hangouts to hold live chats with talking heads, and collected Tweets and video recordings from their audience.

This is the future -- and it's gunning for cable news' various chatterbox formats, which range from hard news to celebrity chat.

The audience isn't just watching. We're engaging, too, with posting comments and Tweets and Facebook updates through the site. And HuffPo adds links to relevant contextual articles and video clips that help support the discussion.

My bet: This is going to turn into a very "sticky" website for HuffPo, with people keeping the chatter on in the background at work and watching the Twit stream. HuffPo isn't alone in the web video push: Politico and the Wall Street Journal are doing it. Peter Kafka, over at All Things D, has a good overview of what the web news video landscape looks like.)

Expect the big cable news companies to copy this. Or maybe they won't -- to their peril.