It’s the last day of the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, and Microsoft’s Beam streaming service has something just for the developers. As Beam puts it, ‘Interactive 2.0’ is a step in bringing better and unique interactive integrations for streamers.
The dynamic, interactive nature of live streaming has always been the primary focus of Beam. It’s why the folks at Beam developed their very own low-latency streaming protocol. Thanks to the low-latency streams, viewers can interact with the streamer and participate in the fun, rather than just watch.
Beam’s upcoming ‘Interactive 2.0’ iterates on the already established features, and introduces a few unique features as well.
A Beam streamer, right now, can create buttons and set a spark – Beam’s interactive currency – cost for individual buttons. The idea allows viewers to interact with streamers but with a limitation, as pressing the button has a cost associated with it. This way, the streamer does not get spammed, while the viewers still get their interaction in moderation.
Unfortunately, the streamer has to set these buttons up before starting a stream; with ‘Interactive 2.0,’ streamers will be able to create new buttons and interactive elements on-the-fly. It would also be able to modify text for existing buttons as well as change the spark cost.
In addition to that, the streamer will also be able to see the name of the viewer who pushes a button. This would allow for some personalized interactivity.
All the new interaction features are great for the streamers and viewers, but this is about developers.
Beam’s upgraded ‘Interactive 2.0’ will use a new JSON-based protocol which is much easier to debug and is somewhat human-readable.
Beam plans to roll out the new ‘Interactive 2.0’ features sometime this month, but further improvements will continue to arrive over the course of 2017.
The current set of ‘Interactive 1.0’ features will continue to function as they do, while developers work on updating their applications and solutions to the new feature set.
If you wish to read more about Beam’s announcement, check out the Beam blog over here.
While Twitch is working on building more revenue streams with the mountain-worth weight of Amazon, Beam is simply focusing on its core functionality. Beam has a long way to go until it can amass a community even close to the one Twitch has; the team seems to be working towards that goal, albeit slowly.