Twitch is testing a new UI layout intended to boost discoverability, but the reaction so far is mixed.
At present, viewing the different game categories on Twitch brings up a grid view of various streams that need to be clicked on individually to view.
The new version being tested adds a video at the top which auto-plays as users click through the grid of streams beneath, before choosing to join the stream or follow the streamer.
The chat for that stream is additionally shown on the right of the video (and can be hidden) to look through before you join.
Twitch staff have confirmed that adverts will not be shown during this auto-playing preview video. The video will last about a minute before urging viewers to click through into the stream.
Streamer Lowco has a clip of the new UI in action, as well as that confirmation from Twitch of no adverts.
MASSIVE TWITCH UPDATE: Twitch is experimenting with a whole new way to browse streams. This looks to be a *game-changer* for the viewer experience and a big win for smaller creators!
Here’s what it looks like and why I think it’s so good ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/GgpmV5tWeQ
— Lowco 🏳️🌈 (@LowcoTV) June 21, 2022
The aim of this change is to boost discoverability, so viewers get a taster of a stream before watching in full.
“This could totally change the viewing experience as a viewer, trying to find a new streamer to watch,” says Lowco. “If this is a change that sticks, I can just only see this being a good thing where you don’t have to actually commit to loading a stream up. You don’t have to watch an ad. You can go through and just get a taste of who you want to watch before you click into the stream and come in.”
However, other viewers are less happy about the potential change.
Over on reddit, user Ilsyer wrote: “Whenever I go to Twitch I don’t wanna be ‘thrown’ into a random stream which is why I avoid the main page of Twitch like the plague.”
A number of comments beneath also noted their annoyance with auto-playing videos.
It’s unclear exactly if and when this change will be made officially by Twitch.