Microsoft announces major Mixer update, includes new homepage and other improvements

Microsoft’s content streaming platform, Mixer, is today announcing major changes to its platform. The service has been making efforts to take on rivals such as Twitch and YouTube. The updates include a new homepage on all platforms and improvements to content recommendation for better discoverability of new content.

The Mixer homepage is receiving a new layout that ditches the earlier layout entirely and features a list of all featured creators in blocks. The firm adds that the new homepage provides smart, AI-powered recommendations – such as for community events. The categories on the page retain the ‘Featured’, and ‘Partner Spotlight’, and ‘Top Category’. However, users will notice a row for new content below these sections. The content in the rows is populated through personalized recommendations and manually programed content.

The Redmond giant is also bringing Auto-Hosting for streamers. The firm notes that it tested the feature for a month with its partners. Auto-Hosting lets users create a list of streamers that you would want to host automatically when you are offline. Customization options include the ability to list the priority order for hosting or let the service select streamers randomly. Users can also determine the time duration for which a streamer can be online before switching streams.

Other improvements include quality improvement to emotes, with new global emotes starting to be visible today. The company says that partner emotes will be updated over the next few weeks. The service is also testing Ad-Break beta, an advertising platform for the streaming service which is aimed to bring monetization opportunities to Mixer. There are improvements to the partner badging on the homepage, improvements to notifications, and enhancements to the Clips creation feature on the Mixer app on Android and iOS.

The viewing experience on Xbox has also received major improvements. The firm says that it has built the experience from the ground up for the platform, improving discoverability and usability on the console. The changes will first come to Insiders testing the April system update. In addition to this, the enhancements that are Xbox specific include easier stream settings access for selecting chat layout or video quality.

In all, the improvements are a welcome addition and speak to the commitment of Microsoft to take on the likes of its competitors. The firm has been raking up exclusivity deals with streamers to increase the popularity of the service. The blog post also mentions that ‘there’s much more coming”, and that it will provide more frequent updates on its blog.

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