Two New Steam Features You Might Not Have Noticed

Two New Steam Features You Might Not Have Noticed

Steam is changing all the time -- even if it feels like it's improving in Valve Time, not regular people time. That means key features can, occasionally, slip through the cracks. Here are a couple recent additions with big potential.

First up, the feature with the biggest long-term implications. There is now a "follow" button in every Steam user's profile, separate from friending them outright. Granted, a follow option already existed in Steam to an extent, but it was mainly focused on Steam Workshop (read: mods) creators, Steam Greenlight submissions, and things like that.

Two New Steam Features You Might Not Have Noticed

For the time being the functionality of following appears to be the same as it's always been, but the fact that it's now placed so prominently leads me to believe it won't stay that way for long. My guess? If nothing else, we'll probably be able to get alerts if someone we follow starts streaming. That's only speculation, though. I've reached out to Valve for clarification and comment on their future plans.

The other not so in-your-face new addition? A tab for "funny" reviews of every game, with a corresponding option to say a review made you giggle like an idiot (or a very learned hyena) instead of expressing positivity or negativity. Here it is on DOTA 2's store page:

Two New Steam Features You Might Not Have Noticed

This does not, however, really solve the issue of clutter in positive and negative Steam review sections, given that funny reviews continue to appear in those as well. Still, if you want a quick laugh (or a slowly constricting cringe, depending on how deep into the list you dig), now you know where to go.

It will be interesting to see this stuff evolve more in the future. For now, though, the sense I'm getting is that Valve has realised Steam users can provide more than just utility for other users. They can also be entertaining -- whether by broadcasting or by writing silly reviews. That element of the Steam community has always been there to an extent, but the big change here is that Valve's finally embracing it. These specific additions feel more like groundwork than they do a finished wing on the Steam mega-mansion, so I suppose we'll just have to wait and see where Valve takes them next.


Comments

    I use Steam in such a basic way it seems. I'll browse the games page when I first fire it up to see if there's any bargains, then I'll click on my library and play something.
    Every now and again I'll go to my inventory and sell some cards, which I still have no idea at all why people are buying.
    That's literally it.

      Pretty much the same as me. I sometimes go to the Activity page to see what achievements people are getting, but other than that it's just check for bargains and upcoming games or play something in the Library.

      Also I'm not liking the "funny reviews" at all. They really are drowning out the serious things people have to say about games. Yes I can go to a website dedicated to proper, hopefully professional reviews, but it sure was nice not having to leave the store page to see what people thought was good or bad about the game...

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