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Twitch.tv's major updates announced at TwitchCon 2015, include playlists and uploading

Updates to Twitch include re-streaming 24/7, uploading videos, customizing video thumbnails, and soon HTML5. Private chat is getting a Facebook makeover.

Whatever YouTube Gaming had going for it just got stolen by Twitch.

During today's TwitchCon Keynote in the "TwitchCon Kappa Theater," there were major announcements concerning the future of Twitch development from Twitch CEO and founder Emmett Shear.

  • Twitch Statistics
  • Twitch PlayStation Support Updates
  • Playlists, thumbnails, and 24/7 Twitch streaming
  • Chat/whisper updates
  • Search and video player improvements
  • Video upload support
Twitch Statistics

As told by Shear, here are the Twitch numbers when it comes to streaming:

  • 1.7 million broadcasters every month
  • 15,000 channels live at any given time
  • 7.5 billion minutes of content
  • 6.1 billion chat messages
  • 665 Kappas per minute (and real-time Kappa usage can always be found here)
  • Streamers raised $15 million for charity in the last 12 months

As a surprise to viewers, the man behind the Kappa face himself, Josh Kappa, made a quick entrance on the stage, posing and wearing the emote on a shirt.

Twitch PlayStation Support Updates

Twitch currently has support on: iOS, Android, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Fire TV, Nvidia Shield, Chromecast, and Roku.

PlayStation 4 users had the option to share their game to Twitch, but this upcoming Fall PlayStation 3 and 4 will receive its own Twitch app. The full Twitch experience of watching, chatting, and interacting will be fully available, and users will be able to specifically find which broadcasts are coming straight from PS4.

Now it really is.

At an unannounced date, PS Vita will also gets its own app.


Playlists, thumbnails, and 24/7 Twitch streaming

"Even streamers have to sleep."
- Emmett Shear

Apparently streamers have to sleep and stop streaming, so Twitch is fixing that themselves. Now, broadcasters can organize their favorite broadcast and highlights into individual playlists. These playlists can then be streamed live whenever they're not live themselves.

What does this mean, exactly?

If widely used, it will no longer be standard for Twitch users to be taken to an "Offline" profile page and then watch a broadcast alone. While they certainly still have that option, now Twitch users can watch a re-stream live with other users as if there were really was a 24-hour stream.

Along with playlists, now users have the option to choose their video thumbnails. With this option, there can be more uniformity and creative freedom for professional streamers.


Chat /whisper updates

Not too long ago, Twitch introduced "Whisper," the ability to private chat with other users, no matter what stream they were on. Of course, as demonstrated by the live chat of Twitch users themselves, it can be extremely difficult to see or find your "whispers" in a constantly moving chat. The solution?

Twitch is taking Whisper out of the main chat.

At the bottom of the screen in traditional IM fashion, users can now see pop-ups of their private messages. The Whisper update, which will be available on both web and mobile platforms, now supports full history and can be followed around the site. If you want a true comparison, think Facebook chat system but on Twitch.

 

Search and video player improvements

Hate Flash? Twitch is getting rid of it by Q2 2016, according to Shear. Using HTML controls, some users have already experimented and tried Twitch using HTML5 instead of Flash. Next year, however, it will become standard.

The fiscal calendar says Quarter 2 begins in May, so expect it before then.

The general search is also getting an update, even though it wasn't clarified how outside of it using metadata better. However, Shear was very adamant that Twitch users would see the changes and like them.

 

Video upload support

Arguably the biggest update is users being granted the ability to upload footage to Twitch. While limitations were not discussed, the idea that you can upload recordings to Twitch is a game changer for those that preferred YouTube just for the upload option itself.

You can be a popular Twitch broadcaster without even broadcasting. You can share your gaming experience even if you're too shy to be live.

You can re-stream an event or game as a learning or teaching experience with viewers.

YouTube channels can easily migrate to Twitch. Videos uploaded to Twitch can be added to playlists and re-streamed just like previous broadcasts and highlights.

The possibilities are endless, but questions arise. How will Twitch monitor video theft or inappropriate uploads? How will YouTubers who weren't interested in streaming live respond?

This is only the beginning

TwitchCon started only a few hours go, so who knows how these major updates will affect other panels. If you want to keep up with TwitchCon, make sure to watch it live and follow the stream schedule.

TwitchCon schedule

TwitchCon main stream page

I may have to take back what I said about Hitbox; this update's a winner.

Published Sep. 25th 2015

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