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Twitch’s shift to HTML5 starts today

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The company is launching a closed beta that will expand throughout the summer

Amelia Krales

Video game streaming site Twitch is making good on its promise to ditch Flash. Today the company is launching a closed beta for its new HTML5 player, which the company says will result in “a smoother streaming experience with faster load times and more consistent delivery of high frame rate broadcasts” compared to the current player. Twitch originally announced its plans to move to HTML5 last year, not long after both YouTube and Facebook made similar transitions.

Twitch HTML5 player

Today’s beta will only be available to select users, though Twitch says it will open up to more people throughout the summer. For those in the beta, HTML5 will be available as an optional feature in the video player. There’s no word on when the full transition will be complete, though the Flash player will definitely be phased out entirely at some point, likely in 2016, as Google plans to block Flash in its Chrome browser later this year.

According to Twitch, the updated video player is among the most-requested features from its users. “The end result is a better viewing experience for our community,” says Twitch product marketing manager Noreen McInnis.