Twitch unveiled a new Squad Stream feature yesterday that will give its content creators a new way to collaborate with each other, with a particular emphasis being placed on supporting smaller streamers. Twitch has been steadily rolling out updates with the intent to make content creators' lives a little easier, with Squad Stream being the latest and most robust update.
Twitch Squad Stream couldn't come at a better time for the community, which has been bolstered by two genres that thrive on the ability to share screens without cannibalizing viewership. Battle royale games like Fortnite and Apex Legends are driving forces for viewership and, previously, popular creators giving attention to smaller streamers was difficult since it was tough to do on both channels, which typically meant the more popular figure remained the focal point of the experience. Grand Theft Auto V roleplay has also become a major factor in Twitch, and it has quickly become a popular collaborative title for famous streaming personalities.
Twitch Squad Stream will make the lives of streamers looking to capitalize on any of the above a lot easier. The feature will let up to four Twitch streamers go live simultaneously in one window, which will both make it easier for viewers to watch whatever is happening from four different perspectives while also giving better methods to content creators who want to both host and showcase smaller streams. Squad Stream is a natural extension of the already existing discoverability features that are baked in to Twitch, like raiding and hosting. Hubert Thieblot, Twitch's vice president, released a statement about the feature:
"Creators can join forces right from the dashboard, stream content they wouldn't normally stream, and grow their communities all at the same time. Viewers get more angles on the action, a way to support more of their favorite streamers with ease, and a chance to chat with several great communities at once—or join a new one."
The feature is being advertised by Twitch as useful beyond just the mainstream sections—think League of Legends—and the battle royale genre it seems tailor-made for. Apparently, Twitch envisions Twitch Squad Stream as something that can work with tabletop streams of Dungeons & Dragons and speedrunning sessions, the latter of which has become much more popular in the wake of the GamesDoneQuick charity streams that occur twice yearly.
While the notion that Twitch Squad Stream will support smaller creators better is a nice one, it remains to be seen whether that will actually be the case. The feature is currently only available to Partners, though, who represent the platform's top-tier creators. Twitch Affiliates will follow, but Squad Streams might become yet another tool for the already entrenched Twitch streamers to maintain their viewership while also collaborating with other massive streams instead. Naturally, we'd like to see more creators given chances, but that's not always how the business works. We'll see how it plays out but for now, cautious optimism about a feature that could represent a major shift in how we view streaming seems to be the community's initial response.
Source: Twitch Blog