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  • Valve Overhauls the Steam Chat System

    For the first time in years, Valve has provided a drastic overhaul to the Friends and Chat system within Steam. It has an all-new look with some new functionality such as embedding things like images, Giphy links, Twitter, Twitch, and even YouTube. You can even use something like /giphy to insert a random Giphy image, because that seems safe?

    It's got improvements to group chats, improvements to voice chat, it has a two week long chat history you can keep, it has a new "persona" invisible mode, a new way to rename friends, a new way to trade, a new way to add friends, and more!

    You can try this new functionality out in two different ways. You can either opt into the current Steam client beta by going to Steam > Settings > Account and opting into the currently available beta OR you can try it out via your web browser.

    RICH CHAT FORMATTING
    Ability to share images by pasting images or uploading image files into chat
    Embedding support for YouTube, Imgur, Giphy, Twitter, Twitch, and more
    Rich link previews for URLs
    /me command for emotes
    /giphy for random gifs that may or may not say exactly what you want
    /code command for styling blocks of code

    GROUP CHATS
    Group chats are now persistent, you don't need to rejoin every time you start Steam
    @mention support for group chat members (@here, @all, @member, etc)
    Group chats are available on the web
    Group chats now support multiple text and voice channels
    Custom group chat invite links - shareable in and outside of Steam
    Custom notification settings per group chats and channels
    Saved groups have role-based permissions

    VOICE CHAT
    Voice chat updated to new WebRTC-based backend
    Voice chat uses high quality Opus encoding
    Voice chat traffic payloads are encrypted
    Voice chat traffic is now relayed through Steam servers for low-latency connectivity and for privacy so your IP is never disclosed to those you chat with
    Voice calls from blocked users are automatically blocked
    Voice chat open mic support is improved with better noise filtering and volume detection
    Voice channels include a special text sub-channel for voice members only
    Friends in voice chats in mutual groups are displayed in the Friends List
    Voice controls are displayed in the Friends List whenever a voice chat is active
    Voice chat now supports individual volume for other voice chat members
    When voice chatting in a group, users can create multiple channels without needing an admin to add additional channels.
    Unless saved, voice channels are automatically removed when the last voice member leaves

    USER INTERFACE
    In-game friends are now sorted to the top of the Friends List
    In-game friends playing the same game are grouped together in the Friends List
    Setting to promote the display of nicknames
    Expanding the Friends List window will dock chats in the window in a side-by-side view
    Setting to preserve chat window state after restarting Steam Client
    Steam Client now displays your Steam avatar and profile name together in the account dropdown
    Notification of unread messages appears at the top of your friends list
    Drag and drop friends: to invite to group chats, add to favorites, and add to friend categories
    Easily add multiple friends to group chats or categories with new find-as-you-type friend selection tools

    CHAT HISTORY
    Can now scroll back to load up to two weeks of chat history
    Group chats also keep up to two weeks of chat history
    Improved display of timestamps, which are now always enabled

    PERSONA STATE
    New "Invisible" mode allows you to appear offline, but still view your Friends List and chat
    Updated display of friends who are "Away"
    Offline friend "Last online" time now more reliable
    Offline friends can be sorted by name or last online

    STEAMWORKS RICH PRESENCE API
    Added key to allow localized rich presence information to be displayed in the Steam Client
    In game friends can now show additional information such as level or match, in the Friends List and chats
    Friends in a party together are shown in a group in the Friends List, for games which have integrated with the Steamworks Rich Presence API

    FRIEND CATEGORY MANAGEMENT (FORMERLY "TAG AS...")
    Can rename existing friend categories
    Added ability to add/remove multiple friends from a category at once
    Drag and drop to add friends to categories
    Friend categories (including built-in categories such as "Offline" or "In Game") remember their open or collapsed state
    Favorite friends and chats can be pinned to the top of the Friends List

    ADDING FRIENDS
    New friend management page makes it easier to manage friends, invites, groups, followed games, and more on the Steam Community
    New custom friend-request links that can be sent outside of Steam to allow you to more easily add friends

    TRADING
    Added ability to view Inventory and send Trade Offers from right click menu
    Incoming Trade Offers from friends or users you are chatting with will show a notification and an inline message in chat
    Built-in option to easily share your Steam Trade URL in chat rooms

    NEW ARCHITECTURE
    New chat features can be delivered without the need to update the entire Steam client
    Web chat now uses a websocket-based connection for much better reliability and speed
    Nearly every feature available to Steam Client chat is also available from a web browser

    MULTIPLE SESSION SUPPORT
    Changing friend nicknames, categories, and other friends settings will now be synced between all your online sessions
    Messages delivered to sessions that have been idle are treated as "unread"

    RELIABILITY
    Sending a chat message will now show an error if there was any problem delivering the message
    When sending a URL or something that looks like a URL, they will become clickable but maintain their original text

    This article was originally published in forum thread: Valve Overhauls the Steam Chat System started by Shawn Zipay View original post
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