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Twitch Is Experimenting With Guest Stars, Channel Surfing, Shared Bans

Twitch is currently experimenting with some features that should, at least in theory, make it easier for viewers and viewers alike to enjoy a positive experience on the streaming platform.

The first feature is called Guest Star. It should make it easier for live broadcasters to bring other people – whether they are viewers or fellow creators – into the live broadcast.

The second feature is called Channel Switcher. Twitch announced the experiment, which allows viewers to preview streams without going to the site’s homepage, in a June 30 tweet:

Twitch said the edge(Opens in a new window) Only a small percentage of logged in users have access to the Channel Switcher. The company also clarified that the Channel Switcher will allow viewers to watch up to a minute of a particular broadcast without interrupting ads.

The third feature is initially known as “co-blocking”. It was also revealed on June 30, but instead of being featured by Twitch itself, the feature was spotted by Zach Bussey:

The idea behind joint bans seems fairly straightforward. Rather than requiring live broadcasters to ban known trolls from their chats on an ad hoc basis, as the current system does, new shared block lists will allow live broadcasters to block abusive viewers from their channels en masse.

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These features can help make Twitch more fun to use. Guest Star can make streams more interactive, Channel Switcher may help address the issue of what people should be watching if their favorite broadcasts are offline, and co-blocking may allow these people to make their chats a more fun place for people to hang out without having to worry About known trolls.

Twitch says the Guest Star will be available to some creators this summer, and tells The Verge that the Channel Switcher will be available until mid-July, at which point it will be closed so it can evaluate the results of the experiment. The company did not immediately respond to a request for more information about the availability of the cross-blocking feature.

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