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Twitch announces private message function in chat called Whisper

By Koh Wanzi - on 11 Jun 2015, 4:56pm

Twitch announces private message function in chat called Whisper

Private messages will appear in the main chat window alongside public messages. (Image Source: Twitch)

Twitch’s chat sidebar can be an endless source of amusement or banality. If you follow game streams regularly – especially those of live competitions – you’ll notice that the chat window is often full of people who seem to have a lot to say, but aren’t really listening to each other.

That changes now with Twitch’s new Whisper function, which lets you chat privately with friends, followers, and subscribers. It will work across different Twitch channels and you can carry on multiple private chats at the same time.

Twitch is great in a lot of ways. It’s helped build up vibrant gaming communities and provided an interactive platform where gamers can congregate and watch the games they love together. However, it can sometimes feel a little impersonal, especially when the number of concurrent viewers can go upward of a million.

The new Whisper function lets Twitch viewers cut through all the background chat noise to chat with individual users. It works by typing /w [username] into the chat to send a private message to the user in question. Private chats in many online games already operate in a similar fashion, so gamers should take to it readily.

To further simplify matters, the username field will autocomplete with the last five users you whispered to or received a whisper from. There are also essential privacy features like the ability to block users.

But since the new private messages will appear in the same main chat sidebar, we’re not really sure how well it’ll work in its current form since Twitch chats tend to move at a blinding pace. You might find yourself scrambling to read the message before it disappears up the top of the screen!

It’s probably good now for quick messages that don’t require an extended conversation. However, Twitch says new features are coming soon, including offline messaging and popout instant messages, so you could soon be able to have meaningful discussions on the platform.

Source: Twitch