Game streaming platform Twitch.TV announced a new way to send private messages while watching a stream. Instead of opening up another window, users will be able to “whisper” to someone in the public chat, but only have that one person see it.
Whisper is a common command in multiplayer video games like League of Legends, Starcraft and World of Warcraft. It allows users to message an individual player without it showing up to other players in the public chatroom.
Since League of Legends is far and away the most popular game on Twitch.TV, it is taking the /w [user] command the MOBA uses to chat with friends inside of the game. It is a much more fitting version of the @ message, allowing users to directly respond to one person in the chat; highlighting their name.
This whisper system will be used by moderators to automatically ban or timeout users spamming or abusing other viewers. This should improve the chat somewhat, allowing less moderator updates to be shown on the main public chat.
Twitch chat has become a relevant part of the video streaming platform, with a lot of streamers offering sub chat and emoticons as part of the subscription deal. Even though it is mostly known as a toxic wasteland of spammers, some efforts to contain the spam have been successful like XanBot and MooBot.
The system is available on all streams. Users can only whisper to other users inside the chat, meaning people on other channels will not receive random messages.