Valve's Steam Community Update beta begins, 'Team Fortress 2' hub goes public

The Steam Community Update, which makes several usability-focused changes to Steam's Community portal, entered into a limited access beta today.

The Steam Community Update, which makes several usability-focused changes to Steam's Community portal, entered into a limited access beta today, according to developer Valve.

Teased earlier this week, the update adds "hubs" to each game, designed to provide easy access to the highest-rated content and game-specific discussions.

Player-created groups get a redesign, including public and private discussion areas and easier ways to discover who's participating in each group. Valve has centralized each user's content with a new "image wall" layout that displays a user's highest-rated content. The update also makes it easier to view, rate, and comment on your friends' activities as well as "broadcast game-specific status updates to start a conversation" with friends, according to Valve.

Valve also made the Team Fortress 2 hub available to the public today, in part to celebrate the game's recent "Mann vs. Machine" update, which added co-op to the free-to-play online shooter.

The beta opened today to the first 50,000 players who earned the "Pillar of Steam Community" badge. Each of those players also received an invite to share. According to Valve, beta access will "increase incrementally until the public launch."

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