The TwitchCon 2018 keynote unveiled a number of exciting additions to the popular streaming website. Chief among them are Twitch squad streams and Twitch Sings. Twitch also announced a variety of quality of life improvements for streamers and viewers.
Twitch Squad Streams are a new way for users to group up with other streamers and bring different communities together. Squad streams will let up to four people broadcast together in split-screen. The feature is rolling out to a small set of streamers later this year, with wider availability for the feature coming in 2019. Viewers can choose which video stream to highlight at any time.
Twitch Sings is a collaboration between Harmonix and Twitch to bring a karaoke game to the service. Harmonix—developers of Rock Band, DropMix, and the first two Guitar Hero games—have made a name for itself with its emphasis on rhythm and music games. Twitch Sings takes the Rock Band singer and transports it into a standalone experience. The game’s Twitch integration lets viewers issue challenges and rate singers. Expect Twitch Sings to take over numerous streamer’s channels, with fans requesting absurd songs and challenges of streamers. Twitch Sings is currently streaming from the TwitchCon 2018 show floor.
Alongside squad streaming and Twitch Sings, the platform introduced new moderation tools, VIP badges, homepage updates, and a new highlight editor. These updates will begin to roll out next year. TwitchCon 2018 kicked off today, and runs through October 28. The keynote is available in full on Twitch, and focused heavily on building communities.
Amazon bought Twitch in 2014, and the live streaming service has continued to grow since it launched in 2011. Since Amazon’s purchase, the website has only continued to grow with “IRL” streams, talk shows, and Fortnite. Twitch’s affiliate program is host to over 230,000 streamers, which lets them earn money through their channels. Twitch also has nearly 7,000 Partners that can earn even more through subscriptions and ads. This year brought free games to Twitch Prime subscriber through a Twitch-branded launcher.