Steam has launched the beta for Steam Broadcasting. I think it is clear that this will put Steam in direct competition with Twitch for both viewers and streamers of video gaming content.
Steam Broadcasting is currently in beta. As of December 2, 2014, people can watch their friends play video games on Steam “with the click of a button”. The beta is open to everyone on Steam who wants to participate in it.
To get started, all you need to do is opt-in to the Steam Client beta through the Steam Settings panel. For now, concurrent viewing may be limited as the beta is scaled up to support a broader audience.
To watch a friend’s game via Steam Broadcasting, visit their profile and click on “Watch Game”. Or, you can use the Steam Client Friend’s List to open a window into a friend’s gameplay. Watching someone else’s game play through Steam Broadcasting does not require the viewer to own the game. There are no special fees attached for viewers, and it does not require the use of any additional app.
You can automatically broadcast your gaming session through Steam Broadcasting. Streamers get the option of choosing how open they want their stream to be. It ranges from allowing “anyone” to watch your games to limiting your viewers to only the friends that you specifically invite.
Steam is looking for feedback and suggestions on how to make Steam Broadcasting better. Visit the Steam Broadcasting Discussions forum if you would like to report a bug, ask a question, or share your experience with the Steam Broadcasting beta.