Twitch officially launched ‘Communities’ today with a new open beta directory. The platform aims to allow creators and viewers to better discover and share great content based on their specific interests. Supplementing the current directory, Communities empowers users to self-organize into interest- or activity-based spaces that help streamers connect with their most relevant audience, and help viewers find the content they are most interested in. Beginning today, all eligible viewers and broadcasters are able to create and discover Communities which are accessible in a new directory.

“We’ve heard from our streamers and viewers that they want the freedom to form specific groups, organizing around topics such as speedrunning, esports, cosplay, and painting,” said Sheila Raju, Product Marketing Manager, Twitch. “With Communities, we are giving our users the power to create groups of their choosing, while providing creators with another tool to expand their audiences. If you have an interest that’s shared among others, Communities is where that collective can live.”

To create and manage Communities, users are provided a suite of tools. Community leaders may customize the landing page, appoint moderators, establish a rules list, and feature current broadcasts for maximum discoverability. Since Communities are all public, viewers and creators can see a list of channels currently broadcasting to a Community to help determine the most relevant one for them.

Communities are equipped with components like that Community Directory, which is designed for viewers to discover the most relevant sections that they will enjoy, and where creators can target the Community that’s the best fit for their broadcasts. The Stream wall will display live content from creators who have chosen to broadcast to the Community, and will give viewers the opportunity to discover new streamers and content. There will also be much more personalization, allowing Communities to have specific rules, a customizable avatar and banner, and a designated Community Leader. It’s a lot like Reddit Mods, and Subreddits, if you know that community. The Moderation tools will allow community leaders to oversee the moderation of the channels in their respective Communities. This includes having the ability to ban or timeout channels that go against the rules of the community.

At launch, there will be hundreds of categories already in place based on top games and popular activities on Twitch Creative, such as cosplay, drawing, painting, comedy, food, and music. Anyone is free to join these existing Communities or establish their own. For more information on policies, getting started, and general FAQ for Communities, visit the Twitch Help Center.

Twitch has seen incredible growth since Amazon introduced Twitch Prime last year, the service pairs Amazon Prime accounts with Twitch to offer more features and a streamlined experience.