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Twitch Guest Star feature built with Just Chat in mind

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Once thought of as a platform exclusively for video game live streams, Twitch is now all aboard the talk show train. This fall, it will launch Guest Star, the first official feature built specifically with Just Chatting — now the most popular category on the platform — in mind.

With Guest Star, which will be able to test a small handful of streamers this summer before a formal launch in the fall, streamers can seamlessly take guests out of their audience and give them full voice and video treatment during their broadcasts. Streamers can plug the feature into programs they already use, such as Open Broadcaster Software (OBS), and the windows it creates integrate with custom overlays and branding.

Streamers are currently achieving a similar effect using third-party services like the chat app Discord, but Twitch’s goal is to reduce friction and give streamers the ability to monitor potential guests by seeing how long someone’s Twitch account has been running. exists, whether they have verified their account with their phone and global account.

“When we spoke to makers, some of them said they are afraid to make [talk show-like content] because they were concerned about bringing something or someone to the stream that was inappropriate for their community,” Twitch VP of product Jeremy Forrester told The Washington Post. “That’s why we’re building features to make it easier to pre-check or screen guests before they go live.”

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In the past, Twitch has launched tons of features that make it easier to watch streamers play games together, but this is the first time Just Chatting has taken center stage. Twitch formally established the category — originally intended for streamers to chill and chat with their viewers — in 2018. But in the years since, it has grown into a repository for a huge variety of non-gaming activities, including mainstream talk shows, controversial trends. and IRL matches that wouldn’t look out of place on television (as well as on real television). In recent times, Just Chatting has proven almost unwavering as the top category on the platform that was once just for video games, with Twitch noting that since 2020, the number of hours viewed in the category has increased by 151 percent and revenue for Just Chatting creators has increased with 169 percent have grown.

Twitch’s decision to create and launch Guest Star is an acknowledgment of this trend.

“Only chat streams are different from video game streams, and they rely a lot more on interacting and interacting with communities,” Forrester says. “That’s why we started a group last year to look specifically at what features and tools we could build for Just Chatting creators to make it easier to interact with their community and the content they produce.”

This, he added, is just the beginning when it comes to Just Chat-specific features. That said, Twitch isn’t going to leave video game-focused makers — still the platform’s bread and butter in all — out in the cold. Forrester also doesn’t believe that the distinction between game makers and Just Chatting makers is as meaningful as some make it out to be.

“It’s important to remember that game makers also regularly produce Just Chat content,” he said. “All the features we are investigating are centered [on] making it easier for creators to participate, interact and solicit input from their community, and we believe that both gaming and casual chat creators will benefit.”

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