Popular video game streaming service Twitch is rebranding Curse, an app it acquired last year, and is launching it as a desktop app, which Twitch says will come with community servers, voice and video messaging features that pushes further in parallel with Discord, and game content distribution, which ties in with its plans for a marketplace.
Twitch Becomes More Social
The desktop app's announcement immediately follows Twitch's recent unveiling of Pulse, its own version of a Facebook-esque service for all things gaming. Twitch's desktop app aims to give users an avenue to connect and interact with each other, irregardless whether the streamer is offline. It also cements the company's efforts to polish its own video streaming service, and further cut its teeth on becoming a genuine social networking platform, especially for the gaming community.
"With the Twitch Desktop App, we are adding new ways to build stronger and more meaningful connections between you, your friends, and your community," wrote Twitch on its blog.
Twitch Desktop App
Twitch says that starting with the launch of the Twitch Desktop App Beta on March 16, a user will have the option to create their own Twitch server for the community for hanging out and staying in touch, even if the stream is offline.
In addition, because Twitch knows it's quite cumbersome to get all friends in a single place, the company has made importing and centralizing friends from game communities a user belongs to much easier. With friends wrung tight in one place and easy to spot, a user will be able to instantly connect and interact with them via whispers — what it calls private chats — and new voice and video calls features.
But apart from bolstering Twitch's community, the company says the Desktop App also comes with a number of great ways to enhance the overall gaming experience. For example, Twitch has leveraged Curse's addon/mod community and platform into the app so users can easily find, install, and manage all of their game addons/mods. Twitch also promises that not long after the app's launch, syncing mod settings across multiple platforms will be a free option via Cloud-Sync.
While participating in video or voice calls during a game, users can change their settings sans shifting between windows via the in-game overlay. Twitch also reminds users of its plans to kick off its proprietary games marketplace soon, saying that some games may even be downloaded directly using the Twitch Desktop App, which will also serve as the games library for all purchased games.
The announcement stands as the first major news about Curse since Twitch acquired it last year, with the company piqued by Curse for a number of reasons, chief of them being Curse's sizable video game communities.
A Unified Social Gaming Platform
It's clear that Amazon, which owns Twitch, instead of building disparate pieces of Twitch features, is consolidating all in a single platform, complete with community and communication features, video streaming, and soon, a marketplace. This string of improvements that beeline into the concept of a unified games-centric service will only help it carve significant space in the overall social gaming fabric.