The Steam client could soon see an update to its chat system. A series of assets were recovered, and new information about the new chat UI was leaked on Twitter and several forums last night.
A tweet showing what the new system will look like has been deleted, but a post on a Russian forum contains some alleged details about new features that will be included when the system is updated. The post also states that the new system will receive a beta testing phase soon.
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The leaks suggest you’ll be able to create and save group chats, as well as making links that will automatically add Steam users into new chats. You’ll be able to assign permanent nicknames to people on your friends list, meaning no more wondering who the hell someone is after they change their name and display picture. There’ll also reportedly be improved voice chat, which sounds as though it will be somewhat similar to Discord’s voice channels.
The similarities with Discord continue by allowing you to see who’s playing what, whether they’re playing together, and a series of other features (such as how far through a game they are) that can be added directly by game developers, based on what they think their community wants to know. Chats will also be “multi-media friendly,” making it easier to include images and GIFs in chat.
The beta hasn’t been announced yet, but appears to be closed. The leak (which you can view on the original forum post, or on Reddit) states that “during the beta, chatting with people who are NOT in the beta will be a little weird. Mainly for them. People in the non-beta Steam Client won’t be able to join your group chats.”
The leaks have not been substantiated by Valve, and as such we have little idea when we might actually see the beta introduced. We can be pretty sure there’s some validity to the forum post, however, as a datamine from Steam Database uncovered references to updated chat rooms, voice chat, and media uploads, among others.
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