This past Friday, March 10, 2017, Twitch had their traditional Twitch Town Hall every PAX East. This time around they talked about a few of their recent announcements which they made to their website www.twitch.tv, as well as a couple of new announcements that had not yet been revealed up to that point.
To kick things off, they started off with discussing Twitchcon 2017. Specifically, the date and location for the event which will be 20-22nd of October 2017. The event will be held at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, California. They mentioned that they are bringing back the Purple Ticket giveaway which they did last year for Twitchcon 2016. The giveaway will give one lucky person a free trip to the event.
They then proceeded to talk about how they had recently added one of the most long-term requested features to be added to the website, which is the ability to change your Twitch username. Within the first 24 hours of the launch of this feature, 131,688 people opted to utilise this feature. Full details on the renaming service can be found at https://blog.twitch.tv/username-rename-recycling-policy-update-882431cb966b.
Next on the agenda was Pulse. Twitch hope that this new feature will help streamers to keep in touch with their followers. The premiere video for this feature and more information can be found here https://vimeo.com/206671646 and the full article from Twitch on their blog can be found at https://blog.twitch.tv/https-blog-twitch-tv-pulse-lets-share-emote-and-discover-more-together-57d3460aa9f0.
Everything up to this point was previously announced before PAX East 2017 but moving on the following was announced specifically at the event. Presently, there are only a few partnered streamers that have access to Cheermotes. The way the Cheermotes work is there are five different tiers. Each tier is based on that amount you tip in Bits to a particular streamer’s channel. Higher amounts equate to more elaborate access to a more elaborate version of the same Cheermote. The funds generated from cheering are shared with the streamer and is another way outside of subscribing or tipping a stream to financially support your favourite streamers. The update to the cheering system targets is making it so that everyone that is a partner with Twitch can have their own Cheermotes thus making it a bit more personal and unique to each channel. More on the basics of cheering can be found here: https://blog.twitch.tv/big-news-for-cheering-cheermotes-and-cheers-across-the-globe-7ba9a15ca13.
The second new announcement they made was that Twitch is adding a collection system for your favourite videos on the website. The planned date for this release is in Spring of 2017.
The third announcement was that they are adding Twitch Presents. Announced with a video, https://vimeo.com/207718235, Twitch Presents will be for their TV marathons. And for the kickoff, similar to what they did with Bob Ross and the Creative aspect of Twitch, they will have a marathon of all the Power Ranger seasons which streamers can co-stream, just as long as you delete the vod due to copyright.
Last but by no means least the Twitch Desktop App was unveiled which made everyone in the room very excited. The app will allow up to 50 people to have a private conversation with one another and up to 8 people in a video call. It will also allow text and voice rooms for streamers similar to applications like Discord and Stack. Roles and permissions within the desktop application will synchronise with Twitch channels so that roles like Moderator can carry over as well as other information. The application also enables streamers to carry out polls and giveaways all within the same tab. You can attach a twitch channel to the call so that everyone can watch the same stream at the same time and still be able to access all of the features of the application. The application will also have screen sharing, security to prevent people phishing your IP over calls, and a cloud sync service, so all your settings and information are preserved even if you use another device or log in from another location. Another aspect that appeared to impress people was that you would be able to synchronise your Battle.net, League of Legends, Steam, and other accounts.
Overall, it's interesting watching the next evolution of the Twitch platform and seeing the direction this will take. I was particularly interested in the approach they are taking in regards to helping streamers interact with their communities. Hopefully what Twitch has planned will look as great as we hope when it is all implemented shortly.