Twitch is experimenting with guest stars, channel browsing and shared bans

Twitch is currently experimenting with a few features that, at least in theory, would allow viewers and streamers to have a positive experience on the streaming platform.

The first feature is called Guest Star. It’s supposed to make it easier for streamers to bring other people, whether viewers or other content creators, into their live streams.

The second feature is called Channel Switcher. Twitch announced the experience, which allows viewers to preview streams without going to the site’s homepage, in a June 30 tweet:

Twitch told The Verge(Opens in a new window) that “only a small percentage of logged in users” have access to Channel Switcher. The company also clarified that Channel Switcher would allow viewers to watch up to a minute of a given stream without being interrupted by commercials.

The third feature is tentatively called “shared bans”. It, too, was revealed on June 30, but instead of being showcased by Twitch itself, the feature was spotted by Zach Bussey:

The idea behind shared bans seems quite simple. Instead of requiring streamers to ban known trolls from their chats on an ad-hoc basis, as the current system does, the new shared banlists would allow streamers to block abusive viewers from their channels en masse.

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These features could help make Twitch more enjoyable to use. Guest Star could make streams more interactive, Channel Switcher could help solve the problem of what people should watch if their favorite streamers are offline, and Shared Bans can allow those streamers to make their chats a nicer place to be. so people can hang out without having to worry about known trolls.

Twitch says Guest Star will be available to select creators this summer, and told The Verge that Channel Switcher will be available until mid-July, when it will be shut down so they can gauge the results of the experiment. The company did not immediately respond to a request for additional information on the availability of the shared ban feature.

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