After spending the past week streaming to the service and experiencing what it can offer for the live streamer, Shareplay has the foundation for being a great service. Just want to make it known that at the time of my testing the service and writing this post, Shareplay is still in a closed alpha state.
I was luckily able to be given access to streaming on the site as they were looking for people to run through 10 hours of testing within a week timeframe. The developers have made some great strides recently in stream stability as I really never came across any major issues. This might be because many features were not available for both streamers and viewers. Certain things like what I assume to be their clipping feature wasn’t available and when it will be ready is not known at this point. Currently there isn’t a VoD system set up and unsure in how high up the listing that it may be. At this point VOD’s are really not that important for a live streaming service. We see this already over on Twitch in which VOD’s are not really watched. Many creators tend to record locally while editing and uploading to YouTube is the normal procedure anyway. Clips on the other end are a given. Already on the site there are placeholders for what I can safely assume to be clips as they are labeled as Plays.
During the test you unfortunately do not have access to a dashboard that might house your analytics, stream information, and anything else pertaining to the streamer. This is something that we’ll have to continue to wait on. Already your channel page has a lot of information displayed that people visiting your channel can visit links to your socials. It would be nice to see within the About section, panels that you can customize. To have a system in which you can place certain types of panels like an image panel, a panel for your past three streams or the most popular clips, or a panel that you can enter text into. Customization should be the important factor here and when placing your panels, they remain in that position and be responsive depending on the screen resolution. Another thing that would be ideal is to make sure that the panels remain in their set locations. We’ve seen on other platforms that the panels tend to float around and eventually become a mess of mismanagement, that people really no longer scroll down past the video player.
There are some items that are labeled within a channel page that would be interesting to see more of. For example, there is a Store label. This is an interesting concept that in my thinking can offer incentives for collaboration between Shareplay and perhaps places like Spring or another direct to garment printer. Perhaps you could offer direct links to digital stores like Steam, Epic Game Store, or even the Xbox Game store while offering a percentage of the sale to the creator. The potential is limitless in what can be offered to streamers within your Shareplay channel.
Another thing that is further speculation on my part here is for a partner program. Shareplay could have within the partner program access to a better sub split. Making it a large incentive for streamers to work towards. Better options that would normally be locked out for non-partner streamers. Something along the lines of access to the store page, longer clip storage, and transcoding options. I know the transcoding availability is a touchy subject for many streamers but, we have to remember that Shareplay doesn’t really have the backing of a multi-billion dollar company. They’re working within the system and resources available to their small development team. We need to remind others that are coming into the Shareplay community of this as well. It’s easy to shout that we need this or that without thinking of the hours and development time it needs to take in order to work on things. Especially if something that was recently released caused some site breaking bugs, the team will have to divert resources to get that taken care of quickly.
From what I can already see and have experienced so far is that, Shareplay is well on their way. There’s still a lot of work to be done but, from what they’ve provided already is comparable to other services.