Twitch has now unveiled its proprietary social media platform for the gaming crowd, a natural evolution of its livestreaming platform. It's called "Pulse," and users won't likely experience any steep learning curves to use it, given that it works much like Facebook.
Introducing Pulse, Or Facebook For Gamers
Amazon-owned Twitch, which is the definitive bubble of all things gaming, regards Pulse as a post where streamers can push content and engage with their followers, which also extends to the greater, broader Twitch community, and all this can be done right from Twitch's front page.
"Connections between streamers and viewers are part of what makes Twitch unique," Twitch wrote in its blog post announcing Pulse. "Now we're launching a way to make it easier for streamers and viewers to engage with each other on Twitch, whether a stream is live or not."
Pulse will roll out to all Twitch users over the coming weeks, which will allow broadcasters to post content — text, links, images, videos — and share them with friends and followers alike. These posts will appear to the author's followers on the Twitch homepage from most recent to oldest, just like Twitter, although posts based on relevance might also be added in the future.
"Our goal is to connect viewers with the content that they're most likely interested in," writes Twitch. "Going forward, we will be working to determine the best way of surfacing posts to do just that."
Freedom To Clean Up The Comments Section
For broadcasters, Pulse gives them the way to share highlights with their followers who might have missed their previous stream. It also lets them promote their next stream or basically do whatever they want.
Today, top Twitch streamers have over 1 million followers each, and with Pulse now available as a streamlined social platform for gaming, it's easy to imagine top-rank Twitch streamers turning to it to expand their audience base and keep users engaged off-broadcast.
Pulse, unlike other social media sites with mindless, user-issued vitriol aplenty, is more meticulous with its comments section options. Should a broadcaster opt for it, reactions may be limited to friends or subscribers. Deleting comments is also an option, if there's no alternative recourse.
There are a few limitations. For one, mentions using "@" has yet to be added, and hashtags too. It's safe to assume these basic features will arrive sooner, and the more it's packed with core social media features overtime, the more it makes sense for it to be the default method Twitch users can interact with one another, instead of turning to another service for such interactions.
Twitch isn't only borrowing tinges of Facebook, but it's also eyeing Steam. This spring, Twitch plans to launch its proprietary video game marketplace, which will allow Twitch users to buy specific titles directly off broadcasts. Dozens of games will participate in the schtick, Twitch says, including Ubisoft, Telltale Games, and a handful more.
The service isn't even fully out yet, so it's hard to predict its trajectory. Just for comparison, though, Twitter has managed to survive all these years as chiefly a microblogging service, with the visible lack of any meaningful core social media features. Though it's struggling of late, as noted by The Verge, it still stands, though not as chin-up as it was once.
Pulse might perform the same way, maybe even better, since it caters to the gaming crowd, a close-knit league of its own, with a staunchly loyal community fostering kinship. Pulse will set the terms for how that kind of bond will be facilitated. If it plays its cards right, Twitch might be the default service for such purposes.