During a keynote at PAX East on Saturday, Twitch announced a number of big improvements to its streaming platform for viewers and broadcasters. The biggest are a new Friends List feature, and the ability to enjoy streams without ads when you subscribe.
In an effort to become more social, Twitch is adding Friends List, which lets you connect with other viewers you’re friends with, see when they’re online, and send them whisper messages with just one click. Friends List is in beta right now, and invitations will be going out soon.
“Once you’re in, you’ll have your very own Friends List and be able to send Friend requests to other Twitch users that will double as invitations to the Beta,” explains Twitch.
Arguably even more exciting than the Friends List is the removal of ads from streams you subscribe to. “This has been one of the most requested Subscription features, and we can’t wait to make it available soon for all Twitch Partners and their fans,” Twitch adds.
When you pay monthly to support your favorite broadcasters, then, you will no longer have to endure video ads when you go to watch their streams. But there is a catch: It’s up to streamers to decide whether they want to enable or disable ads for their subscribers.
Finally, Twitch has announced a new Creative Directory, which can be used to stream alternative content (not games). It boasts communities like Painting, Cosplay, Game Development, and Food, and there are now subdirectories that make content easier to find.
Twitch has also begin highlighting some of the most popular streamers within the Creative categories.
These changes and improvements will be making their way to the Twitch platform soon. Be on the lookout for your invite to the beta Friends List.