Throughout the rest of the year, Twitch will be rolling out several new features, including always-on topic specific chat rooms—the aim clearly still centered on Discord—and a new stream summary which shows streamers audience stats as soon as they finish streaming. (It's Friday, so no, I could not think of a better way to word a sentence about stream stats for streamers.)
The announcements came during the TwitchCon 2017 keynote earlier today, and the biggest news is probably the coming change to how streamers reach Affiliate and Partner status—the point at which they can monetize their streams through advertisements and subscriptions.
Currently, there are some tough guidelines for would-be Partners, and a request form. In November, Twitch will add 'Achievements' which offer a set of milestones for streamers to hit as they grow their channel. "This feature is built to give streamers a fun roadmap to achieving greater success on Twitch," wrote associate product marketing manager Ryan Balke in a blog post detailing all the coming changes.
"If you follow the path Achievements lay before you, we absolutely guarantee we'll invite you to the Affiliate or Partner program," said Twitch Prime VP Ethan Evans during the keynote.
Also on the way is the strangely-named "Rituals" which will, as an example, help new viewers introduce themselves. To be honest, I don't fully understand them, but here's the description: "Rituals makes it easier for you to celebrate special moments that bring your community together. Say a viewer is checking out a new channel for the first time. After a minute, she’ll have the choice to signal to the rest of the community that she’s new to the channel. Twitch will break the ice for her in Chat, and maybe she’ll make some new friends."
One point of concern is "Raiding," a practice which will be formalized with a new command. "Starting in November, you can use our new Raids command (/raid) to start a raid, let your viewers join in, and then automatically host the channel you want to send your viewers to," writes Balke. It's all in good fun, usually, but the potential for abuse is obvious—though perhaps by formalizing raids, Twitch will have an easier time detecting malicious behavior.