Later this year, Twitch will be launching a brand new feature called Guest Star. This tool looks to enhance communication and engagement between streamers and viewers, allowing for fans to jump directly into a given broadcast.
First formally established in 2018, the Just Chatting category on Twitch is a form of streaming that prioritizes communication and conversation over actual gaming content. In recent years, Just Chatting streams have expanded and now are some of the most popular streams on the whole of Twitch.
Many Just Chatting streams can include, but are not limited to, conversations about controversial gaming opinions, getting to know new people communities and some even copy a talk show-like format.
Now looking to upgrade the category in a big way, Twitch has announced an exclusive Just Chatting feature on the way known as Guest Star.
What is Guest Star?
In essence, Guest Star lets streamers select guests from their audiences and put them directly in the spotlight with full voice and video treatment on their broadcasts.
Twitch has also made this feature compatible with platforms such as OBS and Twitch Studio which most streamers currently use and utilize for their streams. Guest Star can be plugged into these programs and will be able to be integrated with custom overlays and branding.
Guest Star will first be tested by being made available to a small pool of streamers whose content centers around the Just Chatting category. This will then give Twitch the opportunity to receive feedback about the feature ahead of going live and being made available to everyone at the end of 2022.
When speaking to The Washington Post, Twitch VP of product Jeremy Forrester outlined how this new feature will “make it easier to pre-vet guests, or screen them before they are live.”
The Rise of Just Chatting on Twitch
Forrester then went on to say that this is just the beginning in regards to introducing Just Chatting features on Twitch and how this will in turn support these streamers whose content heavily relies on communication over actual video game content.
“Just Chatting streams are different from video game streams and they are a lot more dependent on engaging and interacting with communities.”
However, Forrester did make sure to note that this focus on Just Chatting streams does not mean Twitch has any intention of moving away from video game streams.
“It’s important to remember that gaming creators are also producing Just Chatting content on a regular basis.”
Forrester then finally said that “all the features we’re investigating are centered [on] making it easier for creators to engage, interact and solicit input from their community, and we believe that both gaming and Just Chatting creators will benefit from them.”
This exclusive feature for Just Chatting streams comes off the back of data earlier this year that highlighted just how quickly this style of streaming is growing in popularity.
Twitch shared data on the category in May 2022 and compared it to the numbers from May 2020. The data revealed that creator revenue in the Just Chatting category was up 169%, with hours broadcast rising 68% and hours watched catapulting up 151%