Having only just launched at the beginning of 2016, Beam, an interactive live-streaming service, joined the Xbox team after it was acquired by Microsoft back in August. Before it draws the curtain on what could be seen as a very successful first year of operation, the service made a number of significant announcements today.
In addition to the introduction of a new logo and Beam branded assets which users can implement in their streams, Beam also announced a forthcoming change regarding the way users login to its service. Soon, Xbox Live login will be introduced as an alternative authentication method when signing up or logging in, with eventual plans to offer it as the sole means of signing into the service.
Matt Salsamendi, co-founder of Beam, also foreshadowed improvements to the mobile app experience in 'early 2017'. While no further details were divulged, Salsamendi mentioned that "an update to the site means an update to all applications across all devices". Windows 10 PCs will be no exception, as its game bar, activated by pressing Windows key + G, is anticipated to receive a new 'Beam' button as part of the Creator's Update, making it simpler for gamers to start streaming. Xbox One users will not be left out either, with the feature coming this winter.
Beam also announced a raft of improvements to broadcasting and streaming, some of which include:
- Initial site load time has been improved 5 times over (RIP spinner)
- 60 FPS render performance sitewide
- Vastly improved mobile web support (for those on devices without apps)
Increased Bitrate/Resolution Support
- We are increasing our max bitrate to up to 10 Mbps
- 1440p 60 FPS streams now supported
- Super high motion 1080p now looks awesome
A New Homepage
- Ability to schedule and feature multiple broadcasters and events
- Ability to feature mature streams to authenticated 18+ users
- More screen real estate to share info about broadcaster's communities
A Brand New Player
- Significantly better browser support, more controls, and better error handling
- Not only is HTML5 still default, you’ll never see Flash again
- Better VOD playback (including scrubbing, linking to timestamps in VODs, and chat replay)
Beam Pro users are able to try out all of these new features straight away, while all other users will be given access in early 2017.