Beam is a new platform for people to stream video games and other content much like Twitch. However, it’s still in early development – so I’m not going to give it a full review quite yet. From what I’ve seen so far, the site has a great deal of potential as long as the developers continue to work on it. If they can fine-tune the appearance and setup of game streaming, it could very well be comparable to that of Twitch.
At first glance, the appearance of the site is quite attractive, in my opinion. I like the colors and the graphic design of the interface. In fact, the personal dashboard is well developed – but buggy. In the text editor, random letters and cursor movements are common making it difficult to hammer out a decent paragraph. But keep in mind, this system is still in early stages of development. We’re looking at potential here, not actual functionality.
Current Functions on Beam
As of this blog post, Beam has a few functions that allow the service to be used by those streaming video games. Easy to use instructions are available to help people connect broadcasting software such as OBS and XSplit Broadcaster. As either of these applications will save the connecting information, you can switch easily back and forth between services such as Twitch and Beam.
A basic chat moderator bot is available as is some basic commands within chat such as creating a poll or disabling links. Emotes are also available in a minimalist regard. However, there is plenty of room for growth and the layout of the system is easy to manage.
One aspect of Beam that I do enjoy is the ability to change your background. This gives your channel a completely unique look and feel providing the sense of individuality. There are quite a few backgrounds to choose from, and you’re able to purchase additional images from the shop once it’s complete – which it’s currently not.
The most intriguing aspect of Beam is the analytics that are “coming soon.” I love stats and seeing what kind of an impact I have on viewers. Twitch’s ability regarding that information is severely lacking and has a two-day delay. The delay itself doesn’t bother me as much as the limited data that is provided by who watches me from where. The ability to track specific games would be incredible, but we’ll have to see in future developments of the service.
It will be interesting to see what developments are in store for Beam in the coming months. I just hope that they’ll be comparable to Twitch soon before YouTube launches a system that can outperform the others. Only time will tell…