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In Challenge To Twitch, Microsoft Rebrands Beam As Mixer And Adds A Host Of New Features

Microsoft's live streaming service Beam, which it bought last year, is getting a new name and features in order to help it compete with Twitch.

Mixer

Mixer's lead engineer, Matt Salsamendi, explains that the choice to rebrand Beam to Mixer was not an easy one, but felt that the new name better captured the platform's goal of bringing gamers together. He further notes that he simply felt that the brand would not be able to grow while using the old name.

We'll admit that, at first, we weren't sold on the new name. To our mind, it brings up either images of audio mixing technology or food blogs, but Salsamendi's argument for the new name makes sense in light of the fact that Mixer aims to blend streamer and viewer interactions together in order to create a new experience.

"It brings people together through the core experience and 'special sauce' that our fans already know and love: the ability to not just watch streams, but to also interact with streamers and play together in near real-time," says Salsamendi. "In other words, Mixer is live streaming that's actually live, compared to the 10-20 second latency you typically get on other platforms."

Co-Streaming

One of the most interesting new features being rolled out as part of the relaunch is co-streaming, which is basically split-screen for streaming. This will enable viewers to watch up to four streams at once on the same Mixer page. Salsamendi says that this setup could be used to watch a team stream of League of Legends, but notes that the streamers do not need to be playing the same game.

Mixer Create For Android And iOS

Today also marks the launch of Mixer Create's Android and iOS beta. Mixer Create will allow streamers to live stream from their smartphones. Currently, the program is only capable of handling self-streaming, but the Mixer team hopes to allow the streaming of mobiles within the future.

Channel One

Channel One is a moderated channel that will serve as a gateway to new Mixer content. This channel will curate content from across the platform to help streamers more easily connect with viewers. Channel One content could include esports, streams of new releases, let's plays, and other things.

Mixer Page On Xbox One

The final addition will be the Mixer Page on the Xbox One dashboard. Similar in function to Channel One, this page will highlight content from across the platform and serve as a way to engage new viewers. As with Channel One, the content will be selected by Mixer's team of moderators.

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