Steam users can now enjoy an updated friend list, as well as new voice and text features, as the storefront for video games tries to go one-up on Discord, the popular chat application. The beta version of this chat application was launched earlier in June, and it appears that these features are fully ready to be featured in the app, as the fight for supremacy continues between Steam and the 3-year old Discord.
The update includes the ability to share GIFs, video and social links on the application with friends. Users will also be able to sort friends, group them according to game and party, as well as maintain more group chats, which are designed similar to Discord servers. Additional features includes an integrated voice-chat, along with features similar to what Discord users get, such as link inviting and channels. In recent years, Discord has turned into the voice of the PC gaming community, with Steam acting as the undisputed Storefront. However, Discord’s user base numbering 130 million is something to marvel at, making it one of the most popular chat platforms. Experts at SuperData Research believe that Discord might be able to challenge Steam in terms of distribution of games, where Microsoft and EA, among others, have failed. It would be a great threat to Steam, should Discord launch its own storefront, which may explain their increased activity in implementing features on Steam to challenge Discord. The race to the top only gets more exciting from here for both companies.
Meanwhile, the Valve Anti-Cheat technology has been working in overdrive mode, with the kicking out of 95,000 users within a week from the service. Around 28,500 people were handed punishments last Wednesday, with the number peaking to 61,423 users the following day. By last Friday, the system had banned 95,812 accounts. These numbers have been provided by the Steam database. VAC recognizes the cheats being applied to popular games such as CS: GO, Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2, among others, and subsequently bans all accounts that use it. This has led to not only a user’s loss of ability to be able to play the games using their accounts, but also forfeiting their inventory.