Twitch has announced a new feature for creators who want to include other streamers and even viewers in their broadcasts. Up to five guests can join a stream via Guest Star, which works on both desktop and mobile. If a viewer wants to join the discussion or ask a question, they can raise a virtual hand and invite the creator or a moderator. This seems to work in a similar way to Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces.
While the feature is akin to Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces, Spotify Live, Discord Stage Channels et al, Twitch can differentiate itself from those services. Guest Star supports both live video and audio – this is Twitch after all.
The platform says Guest Star is easy to use for both newbies and experienced streamers, and it works with software like OBS and Twitch Studio. However, streamers do not need to use a third-party app to host a broadcast with other participants.
Until now, bringing guests to a broadcast has been a temporary solution when creators don’t just want to stream a Zoom, Skype, or Discord call. If they prefer custom layouts, overlays, and branding, that’s: possible to record remote video feeds from Skype or a web app. Guest Star needs to streamline things.
Streamers and their moderators can quickly remove guests at any time for any reason. Guests require a Twitch account, which means they can be reported for violating the platform’s rules. Some measures have been taken to eradicate bad actors before they become a guest. Creators and moderators can look at factors such as an account’s age, whether it’s in good standing, and whether the user has verified it with a phone number.
Guest Star seems to be building on features like Squad Stream, which allows viewers to watch four live streams simultaneously on the Twitch app or website and jump between those creators’ chats. The new feature is about bringing people together on the same channel. Creators can use Guest Star for podcasts, dial-up advice streams, and even game shows.
While Twitch is mostly associated with gaming, conversational style content has been emerging on the platform for a long time. Just chat has been the most popular category since Q3 2020, according to data from Streamlabs and Stream Hatchet.
Twitch says that in the first five months of 2022 (compared to the same period in 2020), hours viewed in the Just Chat category grew 151 percent, while revenue for streamers creating that type of content grew 169 percent. It was suggested that Guest Star could encourage more creators to try talk-focused content.
Initially, Guest Star will only be available to a small number of hand-picked streamers who have already created talk content so Twitch can get some feedback before it rolls out more widely. Twitch plans to make the feature available to all creators this fall.
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