Twitch will make it easier for creators to bring guests onto streams

Twitch has announced a new feature for creators looking to engage other streamers and even viewers in their shows. Up to five guests can join a stream through 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 the creator or a moderator can invite them. This seems to work similar to Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces.

While the feature is related to Clubhouse, Twitter Spaces, Spotify Live, Discord Stage Channels, and others, Twitch can differentiate itself from these 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 newbie and seasoned streamers, and 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.

Previously, adding guests to a broadcast required a small workaround when creators didn’t just want to stream a Zoom, Skype, or Discord call. If they prefer custom layouts, overlays and branding, it’s possible to include remote video feeds from Skype or a web app. Guest Star should streamline things.

Streamers and their moderators can quickly remove guests at any time and for any reason. Guests need a Twitch account, which means they can be reported for breaking the platform’s rules. There are some measures to weed out bad actors before they become guests. Creators and moderators can see factors like 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 build on features like Squad Stream, which allow viewers to watch four live streams simultaneously on the Twitch app or website and switch between those creators’ chats. The new feature is all about bringing people together on the same channel. Creators can use Guest Star for podcasts, dial-in advisor streams, and even game shows.

While Twitch is most commonly associated with gaming, conversational-style content has long been on the rise on the platform. According to data from Streamlabs and Stream Hatchet, Just Chatting is the most popular category as of Q3 2020.

Twitch says that in the first five months of 2022 (compared to the same period in 2020), hours viewed in the Just Chatting category increased by 151 percent, while revenue for streamers creating this type of content increased , up 169 percent. It suggested that Guest Star could encourage more creators to try their hand at conversational content.

Initially, Guest Star will only be available to a small number of handpicked streamers who are already creating Talk content, so Twitch can get feedback ahead of a wider rollout. Twitch plans to roll out the feature to all YouTubers in the fall.

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Russell Falcon

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