Microsoft acquired the live streaming service, Beam back in August and it hasn't made any major changes to the platform so far. Last week, the company announced the first set of improvements coming in a few weeks to all of its users and available right now to Beam Pro subscribers. The service also introduced new branding assets and a new logo which you can see below.
First of all, both new and existing users of Beam will be able to sign in to the service using Xbox Live / Microsoft Account instead of its own. This will later evolve into users having only one account eventually but no ETA has been given for when the merger will be complete. For now, Xbox Live will just be an alternative.
Official apps will receive some improvements in early 2017 as well. That includes Windows 10 devices and the Game Bar feature included in the OS, adding a separate Beam button to it with Windows 10 Creators Update later next year. Xbox One users will get a new set of features too.
Some other backend changes are going to be made and a few of them are already announced:
- 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 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 information 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)
As we said earlier, Beam Pro users are already able to try some of these new features. More of them will become publicly available in early 2017, so you might want to stay tuned if you're into streaming your game experience and watching Let's Plays / tournaments.