Twitch launches Friends feature beta, becomes more like a social network

A new social feature will be rolling into beta on Twitch very soon

A new social feature will be rolling into beta on Twitch very soon. And with it the streaming platform becomes even more like Facebook and other social networks.

Friends, as Twitch has aptly named it, was announced at PAX East on Friday. The platform has always been big on community interaction, with this being its third social feature released this year after Whispers (private instant messaging) and Channel Feed (status updates).

The feature lets Twitch users to add up to 500 people as friends, allowing them to see who is online to chat and send Whispers with one click.

“Twitch has always been a great platform for broadcasters to connect with viewers, now viewers will be able to connect with each other too,” said Twitch’s Director of Programming Marcus “djWHEAT” Graham in the release statement. “Because the community continues to flock to features that help create real connections, as exemplified by the 300 million whispers sent just since launch, we are continuing to make this a key focus.”

While there is no set date for the beta to roll out just yet, invites began with “select community members” on Friday, including people who attended the Twitch Town Hall at PAX East. Beta sign-ups also began at the Twitch booth at PAX yesterday.

If you aren’t at PAX there is still a chance for you to get into the beta. Every time someone adds a friend to their list, that friend also receives the beta. So think of it more like a social virus spreading through the Twitch community than an exclusive beta. And if someone says they’ve added you and you can’t see the friends interface, don’t freak out, the first round of invites hasn’t gone live yet.