Beam, Microsoft’s new interactive game streaming service, gets a massive update

Try it out!Microsoft purchased interactive livestreaming service Beam a mere 4 month ago, and as promised, with Microsoft’s resources behind them, the company has already started to deliver on their promises regarding improved support for Windows 10 and the Xbox One.

While the Beam app is still coming in “winter” the company has introduced the ability to sign in using Xbox Live user name. This will eventually become the only way to sign in to Beam, but users will still be able to retain a personal name separate from their Xbox Live name. Beam will also soon introduce a verification mark for high profile users.

The change allows Beam to:

  • Leverage Xbox tooling, support, and moderation to scale Beam’s community
  • Enables significant security enhancements with 2FA, suspicious login detection, and more
  • Brings more viewers to Beam with a universal and easy to use authentication mechanism
  • Enables deeper social experiences, game integrations, and richer content discovery

The company also has announced a new version of the service currently available to Pro users to beta test.  The update features:

New UI Language and Design

  • Evolved design language and components
  • Brand new kinetic animations for transitions and interactions
  • More consistent styling across the site

Improved Performance

  • Initial site load time has been improved 5 times over (RIP spinner)
  • 60 FPS render performance sitewide
  • Vastly improved mobile web support (for those on devices without apps)

Look at the damage

Increased Bitrate/Resolution Support

  • The maximum bitrate has been increased to up to 10 Mbps
  • 1440p 60 FPS streams now supported
  • Super high motion 1080p now looks awesome

A New Homepage

  • A brand new homepage with a wider breadth of featured content from you.
  • Ability to schedule and feature multiple broadcasters and events
  • Ability to feature mature streams to authenticated 18+ users
  • More screen real estate to share info about broadcaster’s communities

Our new home page!

Deep Chat Improvements

  • After a huge focus on better error handling, Beam now deals with network hiccups with ease
  • A new and improved polling UI (including the ability to see what your friends voted on)
  • Inline emoticon auto completion (see what your emote messages look like before sending)
  • A new fancy mod gizmo (click and drag a person’s username)

A Brand New Player

  • Significantly better browser support, more controls, and better error handling
  • Not only is HTML5 still default, you’ll never see Flash again
  • Better VOD playback (including scrubbing, linking to timestamps in VODs, and chat replay)

A Brand New Logo

New logo HYPE

The Beam logo, along with a series of Beam branded assets can be use on user’s streams.

The Future

In 2017 the company plans hybrid applications for mobile, the aforementioned Xbox One app for the service, and updates to the proprietary FTL streaming protocol.

Beam Pro users can start testing all of these new beta features today, and it will be rolling out to all users in early 2017.

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