Posted by Sarah Perez_Techcrunch.com
Amazon-owned game-streaming site Twitch today announced a series of changes coming soon to its mobile application, the most notable of which is the ability for broadcasters to stream directly to their channel from the app itself. That doesn’t mean you can live stream gameplay as of yet, though.
However, being able to go live directly from mobile is a more important part of Twitch’s strategy these days, as the company expands beyond being just a place to watch video games. These days, Twitch streamers can also run their own vlogs on the network or even share their interests outside of gaming, like art, music, costumes and more.
“Since the IRL community on Twitch has been exploding over the last year, supporting them with a great first-party product was our priority,” explains Tom Robertson, Senior Director of Product Management at Twitch. “As our creators continue to innovate with their content, we’ll be looking to support them in more ways. We also have some cool things in development that will be rolling out later this year,” he teases.
Twitch had said in December that mobile live streaming was on the way, and planned for a 2017 debut.
Mobile live streaming, along with a growing number of monetization mechanisms for smaller streamers — like yesterday’s launch of subscriptions for affiliates, for example, or their ability to now hawk games and in-game items from their channel pages — may bring more streamers to Twitch over time.
The updated mobile app is also gaining Twitch Pulse — the company’s previously launched Twitter-like feed of social updates, including text, multimedia and links from other services like YouTube, Imgur, Vimeo and Gfycat.
And Twitch seems to be beating YouTube to the punch with the launch of a dark mode on mobile. (YouTube recently launched a dark theme, but for desktop users only.)
Twitch’s app is also receiving a makeover, with navigation bars for sections like Live, Pulse and Browse, and swipe gestures for selecting new videos, accessing playlists and returning to previous streams. It’s getting “Instant Playlists,” a collection of videos you can pull down from the top of the screen, and it’s bringing to mobile the same notification center found on the desktop.
Twitch says the app today has been installed more than 83 million times; its service, including both desktop and mobile, has 9.7 million daily active users, according to Twitch’s own publication of stats.
The app is rolling out to iOS and Android in early July. (Why announce today? Likely Twitch wanted the news out there ahead of the U.S. July 4th holidays.)