Twitch’s powerful live-streaming interface and its deep community of passionate gamers have become two of its most significant selling points, but it would not be a stretch to call the streaming platform’s infamous chat its most iconic feature. Between its custom emotes and the entire games built around its inputs, Twitch Chat has taken a life of its own, and a new feature will ensure it shows up as frequently as possible. Twitch has announced Chat Replay, which gives users the option to include real-time chat windows within any recorded videos they upload.
The ability to replay a chat window alongside an on-demand Twitch video was already available in the form of a third-party extension called ReChat, but Chat Replay turns ReChat’s primary function into a first-party feature. As viewers watch videos that were recorded during previous streams, a steady supply of comments appears on the right-hand side of the screen, offering the conversations, reactions, and other assorted flimflam of the audience.
For many streamers, Twitch Chat is an indispensable part of their appeal. Streams are often augmented by Q&A sessions with chat denizens, viewer input sometimes affects in-game decisions, and particularly epic plays tend to draw waves of chat reactions that add to the experience.
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“Never again will you wonder which moments had the chat going wild or what messages your favorite broadcaster is responding to,” reads a Twitch blog post. “With Chat Replay, you can fully immerse yourself in the Twitch viewing experience and relive the best moments from broadcasts exactly as they happened live.”
According to the post, Chat Replay will begin showing up on Twitch channels “over the next few weeks.”