Livestreaming is an activity that's growing in popularity, and the easier it is to do, the more people there'll be out there doing it.
The benefits and uses of livestreaming are many -- it allows prospective purchasers of a game to see how it plays in the context of a real person enjoying it; it allows a super-fan of a game to show off something they're enjoying; it allows skilled players to "perform" for an audience. It's also just one of the many ways we're starting to see a variety of "Internet personalities" rise to prominence, and a means through which people unable to attend exciting eSports events such as the recent Evo fighting game tournament can still enjoy the action.
Recently, we've started to see a trend of livestreaming functionality being integrated into other pieces of software. Earlier this week, we heard that the free-to-play action role-playing game Path of Exile would be integrating Twitch support directly into its game client; it was also recently announced that you can link your Twitch and Steam accounts for various benefits; and, in the latest piece of integrated livestreaming use, the popular gamer social network Raptr is adding Twitch functionality to its desktop client.
The link to Raptr is a sensible one, since the service's desktop client already allows users to broadcast what games they are playing and the amount of time they have spent playing each title. Integrating the ability to actually broadcast footage from the game that the user is playing is a natural extension of what Raptr already offers, and it's honestly surprising the service hasn't integrated similar functionality sooner. The most recent additions to the service were game-centric "communities" that allowed members to post articles and pictures relating to specific games, and the ability for users to earn "rewards" in various games through playtime or earning specific achievements.
"A goal of Twitch is to be wherever gamers are, whether it's on laptops and handheld devices or integrated into gaming consoles and software," said Emmett Shear, CEO of Twitch. "By bringing livestreaming functionality at the touch of a button to the Raptr desktop app, it's one more step in achieving this ubiquity for our brand while attracting a new batch of broadcasters from Raptr's passionate community."
Marketing-speak aside, Shear has a point -- while Twitch isn't the only livestreaming solution available out there, it is certainly the one that seems to be enjoying the most success and prominence at present. The team's aim is presumably to do for livestreaming what YouTube did for video posts -- while it's not the only means of performing that function, it is the first place people think of when they want to do it.
Find out more about the new Twitch support on Raptr's site.