Valve's New Steam Chat Exits Beta, Available Now for All Users

Voice chat, photo messaging, group sorting, and other changes introduced in the previous chat beta are now live for Steam users.

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Steam users may have noticed a few new changes to the platform's friends list and chat features lately. Introduced as part of a beta test, the new chat features included tweaks to everything from group chats to the invisible mode. It seems like the beta test was successful, as Valve has just announced that all of the previous changes made in the beta Steam chat are now live for all Steam users.

In a comically short press release, Valve confirmed that the new chat is now live:

"The new Steam chat features, which have been in beta since June 12th, are now available to all Steam users. The new system makes it easier to chat and play games with your Steam friends. Valve would like to thank everyone who participated in the beta."

Though the new Steam friends list and social functions look somewhat similar to the way they did before, there are a few changes that users should be aware of: friends are now grouped by the games they're playing as well as the parties they're currently in, which looks to supercede previous custom friends list groups. However, users can drag their favorite friends up to the top of the window to keep them ready to message at a moment's notice. Beyond that, instant message windows can now include embedded media like photos and tweets, and group chats can bring together loads of different friends in a manner that's more than a little reminiscent of popular messaging platform Discord.

To get a better feel for the new Steam chat features and changes, Valve welcomes players to check out a brief demonstration featured over on the Steam website. As for the rest of us, well, the changes will likely take some getting used to, but there's certainly nothing wrong with the crew at Valve making efforts to stay modern in a constantly evolving industry.

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