With its biggest product launch in years, Twitch is betting on a near-future of the platform that features more dynamic conversations, expanding its current focus beyond mostly solo streamers. Through a new tool called Guest Star, which launched in a limited beta earlier this year, streamers can now easily pull other creators and fans into their streams for talk show-like experience.
Guest Star makes it possible for anyone to pull up to five speakers into a stream at once. Creators can can host and manage guests from Twitch Studio and OBS, the streaming software of choice for many of the app’s more advanced creators. Guest Star can be enabled through the creator dashboard where it’s now available to everyone.
With Guest Star, streamers can directly invite guests or tap members of chat to join. Viewers in chat can also ask to be featured on stream, providing another way for creators to incentivize and reward their supporters. Hopping into someone else’s stream just requires clicking a popup notification and guests can join with either video or just audio enabled, a setting that the host can determine and toggle on and off.
Moderation tools give hosts a few ways to manage what guests do, including controlling their audio levels, disabling video like we mentioned and ultimately giving them the boot if they misbehave. Twitch’s suspicious user detection feature adds a layer of safety for hosts looking to choose members of chat to bring into a stream. As an additional safety layer, only phone-verified Twitch users can appear as guests and a digital “backstage” area makes it possible to lay out ground rules and coordinate before
Twitch sees Guest Star as a natural evolution of the success it’s seen in the “Just Chatting” category, which has exploded since 2020. Comparing the first five months of 2022 to the first half of that year, hours watched in the category shot up 151% and Just Chatting creator revenue grew 169%.