Twitch unveils 'IRL' for videos that go beyond gaming

The Amazon-owned video community for gamers wants to let users set out for new territory.

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Edward Moyer is a senior editor at CNET and a many-year veteran of the writing and editing world. He enjoys taking sentences apart and putting them back together. He also likes making them from scratch. ¶ For nearly a quarter of a century, he's edited and written stories about various aspects of the technology world, from the US National Security Agency's controversial spying techniques to historic NASA space missions to 3D-printed works of fine art. Before that, he wrote about movies, musicians, artists and subcultures.
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Edward Moyer
"And after I vaporized the aliens, I had a peanut butter sandwich."

"And after I vaporized the aliens, I had a peanut butter sandwich."

Frederic J. Brown/Getty Images

Call it Facebook Live or YouTube for gamers.

Twitch, a video-centric online community for computer-game fans, launched a new content category Thursday designed to get its users sharing moments from their everyday lives. The Amazon-owned site also said it would bring live-streaming to its mobile app in 2017.

Called IRL -- for the olds out there that's "in real life" -- the new category is meant to let users upload and stream clips that take them beyond their "core identity" as gamers.

"We're amazed by our creators who build thriving communities and create compelling content for millions of viewers," Twitch CEO Emmett Shear said in a statement. "While gaming is their core identity, what we've heard repeatedly from them is that they are interested in sharing their everyday lives, thoughts, and opinions with their communities. IRL is designed to help our creators foster that kind of community interaction."

It's not the first horizon-expanding move from Twitch, which is perhaps best known for letting people broadcast their video-gaming sessions. Among other things, the site previously launched a section called Twitch Creative, which grew out of cosplay and features how-to-ish and other videos of artistic endeavors, including drawing, music and computer programming.