Group chat was released as a beta feature and never really iterated upon. We discovered a few use cases where it was used:
Poverty chat (chatting while subs-only mode)
But for the most part, the feature is relatively unused. We’re debating internally whether we can deprecate the feature and remove it once we’ve found suitable replacements for the functionality it provides.
Host-mode was intended (amongst other things) as a better replacement for poverty chat. We also are looking into adding a second chat room automatically for mods of a channel, so that broadcasters aren’t required to manage (invite/remove) mods from their group chat rooms.
I wanted to ask you guys if you had any specific use cases for Group Chat that you think are important? Would you be sad if it was gone?
Personally I think the feature is nice, but it has a few fatal flaws that prevent it from being used to great extent, primarily the inability to remove people from a room once added ( zero user management ), the lack of being able to set room options ( blocked words, deleted links, etc ), and the complete lack of room history.
You can’t actually do this.
Not being able to kick users once they’re added ( to an invite only chat ) is just silly. I’m not sure I need to write much about this. You have an invite only room but no way to remove people that you add. You make a room only subs are invited into, but no way to remove people who lapse. You can ban someone from a private room, but no way to stop them from watching the information flowing through it. Your only recourse then is to remake the room and reinvite everyone except them… And on “anyone can invite” rooms, the problem just exacerbates itself.
Room options are just annoying, but not a huge deal. There’s no good way to go about it either, I suppose if it’s based on the creator’s channel’s chat’s settings then it’s fine, but it doesn’t appear to be this way ( am I mistaken? ) using “default” chat options instead.
This last one is huge. People don’t sit on group chats 24/7, so unless you’ve got an irc client or bouncer connected to the room ( which is difficult to do in the first place compared to normal room joining methods ), you will lose messages. If group chat had recent chat history, they would become infinitely more useful ( and it would be a good system test to grow into full TMI, since they are small scale by comparison to standard chat rooms ).
Use cases include moderator rooms, private sub-groups, subscriber’s only hangouts, chat bot control rooms, and community chats ( Kikka’s SGDQ room typically has a decent number of people in it )
Other minor complaints are simple things, like the inability to rename rooms.
If the feedback received was iterated on I think it would become a very viable feature of Twitch chat. As it is now it’s just too much of a bother to manage. Personally I’d like to use it to move bot “spam” into a different channel (but there are also different ways to do this)
Some of the early feedback was:
Link-invites to a group chat so that you don’t have to manually invite someone
and 2) History
I would’ve personally also loved to have seen a split chat, where you could put 2 chats beside each other vertically, and you could tab between which one you’re writing to. That could be used for group chat, but also for hosting, raiding and dual streams.
First of all, it’s really awesome to see that finally someone from the Chat Dev Team itself is actively reading and commenting on issues/suggestions from us!! That’s a huge step towards a better chat experience for everyone.
Regarding group chat, it was/is an interesting new feature but it lacks lots of functionality. Actually, like most of it was already mentioned, so there’s no need to repeat it.
In my opinion, that’s the best use case for it and should exist for every channel as a second tab and a subs-only (with/without mods as an option?) as a third tab for channels with subscription program.
This way, the mod chat can also be used to configurate bots through chat
I created one of the so called “poverty chats”, originally when Trump sent his chat to sub-only permanently.
After the first two weeks or so, the chat gradually turned into a more general Hearthstone/Gaming chat. At that point I mostly stopped inviting people and now (a few months later) we are still going. We are a small group of people and have become a pretty tightly knit community.
I created a custom chat bot for the group chat (as nightbot/moobot didn’t support group chats out of the box), out of pure neccessity at the start, when we had 100-200 people chatting (and sometimes spamming) simultaneously.
Over this time, the main gripes I had were the following:
lack of proper documentation for the group chat API
features that are available via the API, but not in the web UI and are not explained in detail. Like renaming a chat, setting it to public/private invites, the fact that all mods could invite people in chats with private invites, but that’s not available in the UI
Mods do not show up as such in group chat (this is because the API call for the chatter list isn’t fully functional in group chats)
the /ban command simply doesn’t work (we need to /timeout 9999999). It used to at some point, but hasn’t been for a while now. @Fire mentioned this problem. When /ban used to work it would actually remove the chat from the user’s chat list.
there is no way to remove people from chat. currently, it’s not unusual for our group chat to have more than 1000 people online and 10-20 people actually talking
The thing I appreciate most about group chat is to be able to take a cool group of people on to your favorite stream and just chat with them instead of putting up with the Spamfest of popular channels. The /host feature partially supports this, but a lot of the time not everybody is watching the same stream, which can’t be catered to with hosting.
If group chat was removed entirely, our group would move to the channel page of our chatbot and I’d host streams there. Maybe make a vote feature for the bot so people can decide on what to watch.
Yes, I would be sad but we’d probably find a way.
I do prefer the current way though, where everybody just opens up their favorite stream and pops up group chat directly on that page. But please make it into a full feature that actually works properly and is thought out if you keep group chat.
This has been a bit rambly, but I hope you can get some insight out of it
Thanks for the replies guys. We’re aware that group chat is not a full-feature (and there have been some regressions over the past few months, aka /ban no longer working).
One of our reasons for focusing more on host-mode than group chat is that host-mode converts a channel page into a community page. Now a ‘channel’ can become popular and never broadcast. It allows us to focus on improving the channel page, which helps broadcasters and communities simultaneously.
Really my only concern with forcing communities into host mode is that it kind of requires everyone to watch the same stream. However, if there was a way to pull up a chat room from a different channel on any stream I’d switch instantly and move everything into a channel instead of a group chat.
There could be a hosted stream on the “community” channel page but nobody is forced to watch it over something else to participate in the chat. The channel page would also serve as a welcome page to new chatters, which is pretty cool.
There is some great potential in host mode for communities but at the moment it still lacks some versatility for me.
I had an idea that, instead of necessarily switching to a different chat room, simply ‘pinning’/‘bookmarking’ a different channel’s chat so you can switch to it while watching any stream would be interesting (the same way you switch to a group chat). That way, you can watch any stream and chat with your favorite community, without the overhead of making a separate group chat system.