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Twitch edges closer to broadcast TV with new feature

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Twitch is introducing a new feature to the platform that brings Twitch channels closer to television channels: Individuals will be able to promote other streams on their own channel, even after they've stopped broadcasting themselves.

Host Mode will allow any channel owner to "host" any other channel, similar to embedding someone else's video on your own website. If you're a broadcaster who is done for the day, you can now use your channel to display another person's stream, instead of simply going dark until the next time you sign on. The chatroom in your channel will stay up, but your video will be replaced by an embedded version of the channel you're hosting. Host Mode is set to go live later tonight, or tomorrow.

The way Twitch sees it, the feature is beneficial to both parties. The hosting party is able to viewers engaged with their channel even when they're offline, and they can use Host Mode to highlight friends' channels or point out interesting streams. Plus, any views tallied on the hosting channel count toward the channel that's being hosted, and viewers can subscribe directly to the original channel from the host's page. In this way, a channel could become known as a great destination for curated Twitch streams, as well as a destination for a single person's broadcasts.

"At our core, Twitch is a live video destination, so we're very interested in increasing the social connectivity between users," said Yoh Suzuki, senior product engineer at Twitch, in a press release. "We want to help our community discover new broadcasters and give users new and better ways of communicating with each other. Host Mode is a significant step in this direction with other new social features just around the corner."

For more on Twitch, check out our feature on the history of the site.