Twitch adds new Chat Replay feature

I know what you're thinking. 'Boy, I can't wait to save the valuable and insightful comments from Twitch chat.' And for the most part, you're right. But let's analyze the Twitch announcement and see what the plan is.

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Twitch has announced a new community-requested feature this morning. The company has announced that in addition to being able to save stream archives as Highlights, Twitch users will now have the option to save the stream's entire chat log.

Wait! Where are you going? Don't hit the 'Back' button!

Alright, on its face, this is something of a puzzling move. Anyone that has seen Twitch chat on virtually any stream of note has seen racial slurs, rampant swearing, misogyny, transphobia, hate speech, Hitler ASCII art (no, seriously!), and a backbreaking amount of sarcasm. So what exactly is the Twitch rationale here? Let's find out from the announcement post.

"Over the next few weeks we will be rolling out Chat Replay, a new feature that brings the excitement of Twitch Chat to recorded videos," explains Twitch's Noreen McInnis. "Now, when you watch a recorded stream or highlight, the chat from the live broadcast will show up right next to the video. Never again will you wonder which moments had the chat going wild or what messages your favorite broadcaster is responding to. 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."

'Excitement' is a strong word when describing Twitch chat. But maybe this move does have some merit, as the announcement post explains further.

"Chat Replay also has moderation features built directly into the interface," McInnis continues. "Messages deleted due to user time-outs or bans during a live stream will not appear in Chat Replay, but, since channel moderators can’t always catch everything when it happens, anyone with permission to moderate a particular channel will also be able to delete individual chat messages from that channel’s recorded videos."

Deleting offensive messages after the fact seems pointless on the surface, but if Twitch goes a little farther with the moderation tools here, this could indeed turn out to be useful. If blocking or banning tools are also implemented, they could help ensure that a toxic user is removed from future broadcasts. Going a step further, allowing Twitch streamers to report certain users for threats or hate speech could also be an idea to keep an eye out for. The Chat Replay FAQ makes no mention of such tools, but they could be something to look out for in the future.

As for more practical uses of Chat Replay? Those that keep their chat restricted to subscribers or friends may find some insight that they may have missed. Also, as McInnis mentioned, chat is good for capturing the atmosphere from spontaneous moments of hilarity. There are some laughs to be had from dying out of nowhere and seeing the word "REKT" fill the chat window.

Shacknews has some Twitch streamers in our Chatty community, so we especially ask that they join the conversation and let us know what they think of this addition.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    February 23, 2016 11:05 AM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Twitch adds new Chat Replay feature

    • reply
      February 23, 2016 11:26 AM

      [deleted]

      • reply
        February 23, 2016 11:55 AM

        I love twitch chat. But I like most unfiltered text based comments.

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      February 23, 2016 12:53 PM

      Being able to go back and catch something, usually some kind of official response from either the broadcaster, host, or company rep, would have some merit. Been a few times where things are flying so fast you can't read more than the last couple of immediate responses. I could also see why game companies, especially publishers, would want edit/filter capabilities while preserving anything their reps communicate about a game/event.

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      February 23, 2016 1:16 PM

      Good on them, this was a much needed feature. Streamers thrive on interaction with the chat/community while they're playing. Any time people go back to watch a video they have no context for what is going on.

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      February 23, 2016 1:46 PM

      Whatever floats their boat. Twitch chat is the single worst part of the internet so I avoid it like the plague. Assuming I can continue doing so ... then I'm good.

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