Select Gamers Can Try Out Steam's New Community Features Right Now

A few thousand (well, more like 100,000) lucky gamers can now use the new Steam community features announced this week by Valve.

The new features, which include organized hubs for each game, new group organization, updates about your uploaded content, and a new friend interface, are now operating in a beta, according to an update from Valve.

The first 50,000 players who have earned the "Pillar of the Steam Community" badge will be allowed into the beta, and will be given an invite for a friend. After that, Valve says that "Beta access will increase incrementally until the public launch." The "Pillar of the Steam Community" badge is earned by linking one's Facebook profile to their Steam profile, among other things, which of course helps Steam move one step down the path to total world domination.

Clever, Valve. Very clever.

You can check out a preview of the new content here, and see a "Game Hub" for Team Fortress 2 here.