Twitch recently announced that they're adding a Chat Replay feature. It allows live-streamers to record chat streams in addition to recording the live-stream. This allows for playback of both video content and chat comments. It's a nice new step in adding user control and functionality to the service after receiving a lot of feedback about it.
Shacknews didn't seem entirely thrilled about the feature given that they seem to think many of the comments made by users are unsavory, but for people who enjoy the Twitch chat interaction or are looking for more ways to filter through comments, the Chat Replay is perfect for the job.
Over on the official Twitch blog they announced that content creators and live-streams can now not only save and record their video streams but also save the chat streams as well. This is an extension of what's already available in a separate browser extension called ReChat. Instead of forcing users to have to get a separate add-on to be able to save the chat and go over the contents outside of the Twitch service itself, the new Chat Replay tools will put the power back into the hands of users with native support for saving chat systems and being able to capture the messages as they happen.
Of course, some of the common questions that arise from this new feature is: what about users who are banned or comments that are moderated during a live-stream?
Well, Twitch has an answer for that. They've made it where the Chat Replay only captures approved messages from users who are not banned and from comments that were not moderated. So any user banned for any reason will not have their comments saved in the replay. What's more is that they've even added in post-publishing moderation tools for chat. What this means is that those with moderator control can retroactively go back into a saved video stream and if the chat has also been saved it's possible to delete messages or remove users. It seems a little excessive but I suppose in those rare cases where someone may have doxxed someone by putting in their real-life address or contact information and the moderator missed it, a moderation team can head back into the replay and remove that information from the database.
Even though Shacknews doesn't entirely see the usefulness in saving chat streams, I think it's useful for games where there are difficult puzzles to solve or areas that are tough to reach and require a specific set of actions. It's nice that now there's an option to re-watch a video on Twitch and see where the chat may have offered some helpful or useful hints for completing a segment in a game that may not have translated quite in the same way as just watching the video. This happens a lot when sometimes watching Let's Play videos on YouTube and there's a part where the player may breeze through a segment or get stuck and then eventually get past the puzzle (sort of like some of the puzzles in Layers of Fear) and the chat or comment section will further elaborate on how to overcome the puzzle/obstacle/etc.
You can start utilizing the Chat Replay in Twitch, or if you already have ReChat in your browser you can keep using it. But either way, Twitch at least added more tools and functionality to the live-streaming service.