Saturday, 25 Jun 2022

Twitch’s New UI Lets Users Preview Stream Before Joining

Twitch is changing things up. The streaming giant is testing a new UI that will let users preview game streams before diving in, enhancing discoverability and giving users a better taste of what content creators are all about.

On the current version of Twitch, clicking on the games directory brings up a list of recommended games at the top (based on your current subscriptions or viewing habits) and a list of recommended streamers below, following by a larger grid of various game genres. Click on any particular game and you’ll be presented with an even larger grid of streamers that you can filter through.

The new version, as showcased by Twitch partner Lowco, does things differently. Clicking on a game will bring up the same list of streamers currently doing their thing, but it’ll also bring a preview of that stream at the top of the page. You’ll be able to see what’s going on (and what’s being said in the chat) without first having to enter the stream. To join the stream, there’s a "Join Stream" button next to the preview, giving the whole thing similar to Netflix.

Best of all, there are no ads in the preview window. Right now, clicking on a stream usually hits the viewer with an ad first, but the preview lets you know if watching that ad is worth the wait to get the content.

"This could totally change the viewing experience as a viewer trying to find a new streamer to watch," said Lowco. "We all know how frustrating that experience has been especially when you're finding smaller creators and you're trying to tab through and find the right person for you. If this is a change that sticks, I can just only see this being a good thing where you don't have to actually commit to loading a stream up."

Not everyone in favor of this change, but thankfully, users who prefer big lists can just add "/list" to the end of the page’s URL to go back to the old way of doing things.

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