Twitch is far-and-away the biggest video game streaming service on the planet, but it’s definitely not perfect.
As part of a kick-off keynote for TwitchCon today, Twitch announced a handful of new features that are coming to the streaming platform in early 2016.
Biggest on the list is video uploads—sans streaming. If you decided to play something but didn’t feel like having the Eyes Of The World looking over your shoulder, Twitch will still host your video. On top of that, you’ll be able to give them custom thumbnail art and arrange them in playlists.
Twitch is also (thank all that is sleek, streamlined, and not an unholy eyesore) upgrading its video player, which will hopefully result in something that’s sleek, streamlined, and not an unholy eyesore. They’re moving from Flash to HTML5 (currently it’s part-Flash, part-HTML5, which is why it taxes PCs way more than it should), but here’s hoping they’re also moving from “ugly and clunky” to “not those two things.”
There’s some other stuff on the way (a dedicated PlayStation app, improved whisper functionality), but the above things suggest—at least, to me—that Twitch is really feeling pressure from YouTube and their new game streaming features. It’s not that YouTube is the heir apparent to the streaming throne yet (YouTube Gaming hasn’t gained much traction at all, despite a solid interface), but Twitch is clearly aware that they’re now tussling with the biggest online video platform on Earth. They’re doing everything they can to shore up their defenses and patch up their leaks—to keep people from even thinking about leaving. After all, once upon a time Twitch was adamantly against hosting video, to the point that stream archives still disappear after a little while. Now they want people to upload pre-recorded stuff and customize it.
It’ll be interesting to see if this stuff is any good when it launches next year. In the meantime, what do you think Twitch still needs to work on? What should they add? Aside from a large man who comes to people’s houses every time they use Twitch chat and hits them for being a dick-weasels, I mean.