Yesterday, Twitch unveiled its new integrated social feature called Pulse. The system is designed to be an ever present way for streamers to engage with their audiences better. In a post from the company, Pulse is “an always-on way to share clips, stream highlights, schedules, photos, and more so followers are more informed, engaged, and connected.”
Users will now have the ability to post messages, photos and videos, directly on their Front Page, which appears in the Pulse feeds of followers and friends as it happens in real-time. On Monday the company debuted the new system to logged-in users, with the feed being auto-enabled starting mid-March. It will also appear on the Twitch mobile app shortly after, making it accessible through all of Twitch’s services. Essentially the service is like having a live news feed mixed with Twitter, all within the confines of Twitch itself, meaning that you could spend all day on the system watching new videos from around the globe and interacting with the creators and producers of that content as it happens. Kind of like the virtual audience from that one episode of Black Mirror, always watching and always interacting, but not as creepy dystopian.
The service shows great promise as far as uniting the community, but what if fails to show is how it will be utilized beyond Twitch. Whether you’re a frequent viewer or just an occasional drop-in kind of person, most everyone watching has social media outside of Twitch, and chances are a good portion of your friends are not watching it. Same as how you may watch SNL every week, but that doesn’t mean all of your friends do. Twitch is offering this as an alternative within their broadcasting services so you can share posts like you would on those services to people in that system, but there’s no talk of reverse engineering it so those posts can be shared on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram so that they might encourage others to check it out. It’ll be interesting to see how everything plays out over the next few months as people become more accustomed to it and see how it works.
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