Twitch releases new Guest Star feature for Just Chatting streams

Just Chatting streams receive an upgrade.

Image via Twitch

Twitch is building out its wildly popular Just Chatting category with the addition of a feature tailor-made for such streamers: a new initiative dubbed “Guest Star.”

The new feature will enable Twitch streamers to pull guests from their live-viewing audience and give them full voice and video appearances on their broadcast. The screen will split into halves or quarters depending on the number of newly introduced participants in the livestream.

The system is still in its early testing phases, but it will be compatible with popular streaming programs such as OBS or OBS Streamlabs. Creators will be able to add custom-branded overlays and graphics to the multi-camera setup once it is fully released.

Screengrab via Twitch

Though initially popularized by video-game-centric streaming content, IRL streams have significantly grown in popularity on Twitch. In the past year, Twitch’s Just Chatting section has reigned as the website’s most-watched category, even doubling the number of hours watched of the second most viewed category, according to Stream Charts.

Talk show style content has quickly taken over the platform, only being emboldened by the addition of this new feature. Instead of using a third-party app such as Discord, Guest Star could seamlessly integrate a multi-cam viewing experience and provide a greater level of security to broadcasters whenever they bring audience members on stream.

“When speaking to creators, a number of them told us that they shy away from making [talk show-like content] because they worried about bringing something or someone onto stream which was inappropriate for their community,” Twitch VP of product Jeremy Forrester said in an interview with The Washington Post. “This is why we are building features to make it easier to pre-vet guests, or screen them before they are live.”

As an added security measure, Guest Star will show information on audience members’ Twitch accounts either before they are added or while they are live. This information will show how long their account has been active, if they are verified, and how long they have been active in or following the streamer’s channel.

Guest Star is sure to continue Just Chatting’s exponential rise on the platform, but creators will have to wait until the feature is released to the general public. For now, the Guest Star feature is limited to only a few select content creators.