Guest Star, which will be tested by a small handful of streamers this summer before a formal launch in the fall, will allow streamers to seamlessly pull guests out of their audiences and give them the full voice and video treatment on their streams. Streamers will be able to plug the feature into programs they already use, such as Open Broadcaster Software (OBS), and the windows it creates can be integrated with custom branding and overlays.
Streamers currently achieve a similar effect using third-party services like the Discord chat app, but Twitch’s goal is to reduce friction and give streamers the ability to vet potential guests by seeing how long the Twitch account has been around. from someone, if they have verified your account. with your phone and the general status of your account.
“When talking to creators, several of them told us that they avoid making [talk show-like content] because they are concerned about putting something or someone up that is inappropriate for their community,” Jeremy Forrester, vice president of product at Twitch, told The Washington Post. “That’s why we’re building features to make it easier to screen guests before they’re live.”
In the past, Twitch has released numerous features that make it easy to watch streamers play together, but this is the first time that Just Chatting has taken center stage. Twitch formally established the category, originally intended for streamers to kick back and chat with their viewers, in 2018. But in the years since, it’s become a repository for a huge variety of non-gaming activities, including regular talk shows, controversial trends Y real life competitions that he wouldn’t feel out of place on television (as well as real tv). In recent times, Just Chatting has proven almost unshakable as the top category in what was once an exclusive gaming platform, with Twitch noting that since 2020, hours viewed in the category are up 151% and revenue from Just Chatting creators increased by 169%.
Twitch’s decision to create and launch Guest Star is an acknowledgment of this trend.
“Chat-only broadcasts are different from video game broadcasts and rely much more on engaging and interacting with communities,” Forrester said. “Because of this, we created a group last year to specifically look at what features and tools we could create for Just Chatting creators to make it easier for them to engage with their community and the content they produce.”
This, he added, is just the beginning when it comes to the specific features of Just Chatting. That said, Twitch isn’t planning on leaving video game-focused creators, who remain the bread and butter of the platform as a whole, out in the cold. Forrester also doesn’t think the distinction between game creators and chat-only creators is as significant as some believe.
“It’s important to remember that game creators are also producing Just Chatting content on a regular basis,” he said. “All the characteristics that we are investigating are centered [on] making it easy for creators to engage, interact and solicit input from their community, and we think both game creators and Just Chatting creators will benefit from them.”