Valve is adding wide support for built-in streaming from Steam with Steam Broadcasting, the developer announced today. With Steam Broadcasting, players will be able to broadcast and watch live gameplay streams with friends or broadcast gameplay to the public.
The feature gives Steam users an alternative to third-party streaming services like Twitch and Ustream.
Valve says Steam's new broadcasting feature is "designed for ease of use, allowing anyone to view a friend's game by simply clicking on 'Watch Game' on their Friend's profile or Friend's List to open a window into their gameplay - no game ownership, special fees, or additional apps required."
Steam Broadcasting is part of the Steam beta client, and users will need to opt-in to use the feature and update their privacy settings in order to broadcast. Broadcasts from Steam are available to watch through the service's community hub.
Currently, Steam Broadcasting supports a handful of web browsers: Google Chrome, Apple's Safari and the Steam client itself. Since the service is still in beta, Steam Broadcasting doesn't feature support for archiving players' livestreams or monetizing them.
More details about the Steam Broadcasting beta are available in a FAQ published by Valve.