The open beta for Twitch’s community-centric desktop app has begun. The program, first announced last week, is designed to work as a communication hub for players, viewers, and streamers alike.

The app seems like a useful tool for Twitch fans that want to consolidate stream viewing and communication into just one platform, but the tool also should be of interest to developers that have been keeping an eye on Twitch’s recent initiative to sell games directly through its site.

When that feature launches later this spring, players will be able to purchase games directly through the Twitch desktop app. As outlined when Twitch’s storefront was first announced, game developers will receive a 70 percent cut of Twitch-driven game sales, while partnered streamers take 5 percent.  

Right now, the open beta already offers server-based chatrooms that are meant to be used as persistent communities rather than just the during-stream chatrooms traditionally used on Twitch’s platform. Additionally, the app contains voice and video chats, game overlays, and management for both add-ons and mods, courtesy of Twitch’s earlier acquisition of Curse.

An interesting read via Gamasutra News