Twitch’s Channel Switcher Experience Blends Cable TV Browsing With Streams

Twitch is testing a new way to discover new channels that reminds me of the good old days of channel surfing on my TV. The experience, which it calls Channel Switcher, lets you easily browse previews of a bunch of different streams to help you find something to watch. And perhaps best of all, you won’t see any ads while using it.

You can get an idea of ​​how it works in this tweet from Twitch:

Right now on Twitch, if you don’t already know what you want to watch, it can be hard to find something new that you might want to tune into. Personally, my rundown is to check the homepage, scan the people I follow sidebar, click on an individual game or category to browse who’s live, or navigate directly to a stream.

But, if I want to switch from a stream I’m already watching, my best options are to click Another Followed Account or Recommendation in the sidebar or go back to Twitch’s Browse section. This last option is not my favorite, as I often face choice paralysis.

Channel Switcher seems like a much faster way to check many different streamers. You’ll be able to watch a 60-second preview of a stream before you have to decide whether to click or watch another channel, according to Twitch spokesperson Samantha Faught.

It seems that only a lucky few will be able to try out Channel Switcher at the moment. Williams says “only a small percentage of logged-in users” currently have access to it, and those who get it were randomly selected. The experience will be disabled in mid-July so the company can analyze the test results, but Williams notes that Twitch plans to work on future iterations and may offer an opt-in version of the feature.

Channel Switcher is just one of many updates announced by Twitch on Thursday, including a new tool that makes it easier for streamers to add guests to their stream called guest star and the ability to create your own tags.

Updated July 6 at 1:10 p.m. ET: Updated Twitch source.

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