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Microsoft rebrands Beam as “Mixer” and adds new features in further push to take on Twitch

Microsoft today announced “a big evolution” in their interactive live-streaming platform. While the core experience will remain the same, the company has rebranded Beam as Mixer and also announced several new features aimed at bringing new possibilities to social streaming, and helping viewers find the content they’ve most wanted.

The rebrand and new features were both announced in a blog post by Matt Salsamedni, the Co-founder, and Mixer Engineering Lead. He explains that while the rebrand was a tough decision it comes because Mixer believes “in the power of the platform” and because “it represents how it brings people together.”

This gets to the heart of what Mixer means for us. We want to empower gamers and everyone who wants to share their passion – whatever it may be – to create and share more easily than ever before across PC, console and mobile. Mixer represents our vision for the next generation of multiplayer – watching and participating alongside your friends in gameplay streaming from anywhere in the world.

Newly announced features for Mixer include co-streaming, a new mobile app, a new Channel One to see what is happening across Mixer, and a new Mixer page on the Xbox One Dashboard.  Matt Salsamedni described these features in his blog post.

  • Starting today, we’re launching the first built-in cooperative streaming experience on a streaming platform where up to 4 streamers can combine their streams into a single viewer experience. Co-streaming enables multiple channel streams to be displayed on a single Mixer page. You and up to three other friends can deliver a stream that combines separate stream sources into one shared “split-screen” view, including a centralized chat experience. Co-streaming is available now for everyone.
  • Mixer Create is a new mobile app (iOS and Android) that enables self-broadcasting, and we’re kicking off the beta today. Soon thereafter, we’ll add the ability to stream live gameplay from your mobile device as well. The ability to broadcast gameplay on-the-go opens up entirely new social gaming possibilities.
  • Channel One is an always-on, moderated channel of content that lets you see what’s happening across Mixer. We’ll highlight a wide variety of content, including big title releases, livestream events, tips and tricks, esports updates, and more.
  • Launching today to Xbox Insiders, the new Mixer page on the Xbox One dashboard will feature some of the most unique, popular and engaging streams that are broadcast on Mixer, curated by our dedicated team. We’ll showcase the huge variety of diverse, creative content from our streaming community and allow viewers to easily find content relevant to them.

Interestingly, the post reveals that co-streaming will not require streamers to play the same game or do the same activity, as they will be able to co-stream with friends who are streaming from different devices. Also revealed was the introduction of the Mixer NYC Studio, a digital production studio designed for live audiences, competitive and gaming events. which is located on the 5th floor of the Flagship NYC Microsoft Store.

You can join on to celebrate the fun by visiting this web page. The page features a live stream from the Microsoft campus starting at 11 AM PT, and you’ll be able to hear and see these new features in action. Until then, let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Do you live-stream or follow any gamers on Beam?