For some Steam fans, a quality update to the desktop client seems to be taking ages. Last year, we got our first real proof that change was coming with an update that overhauled the Steam Chat client, something that didn’t just bring a fresh coat of paint, but improved the mechanics under-the-hood. That in turn improved group chats, and the quality of the audio with voice chat.
I personally dislike the new Steam Chat to the point where I make sure I sign out and disable it after every install almost immediately, because sadly, Discord came out with a better solution long before this update came out. Worse, everyone I know is generally happy with Discord and are unwilling to move anywhere else. Either way, even if you don’t use the new chat, we hope you like what it brought to the table, because the full Steam client overhaul is likely to reflect many of the same sorts of visual elements.
In a new post, Valve details that 2019 is going to be a big year for Steam, and as the title of this post highlights, machine-learning is going to be brought in to improve the store searching situation. It at least can’t be made worse. As I write this, I see an anime game advertised front and center, and it could not be less relevant to me.
That lack of actually curated content made it so I just don’t browse the store, because it’s more of a hassle than it should be. It’s like when you go to Google’s Play Store and see Sniper 3D Gun Shooter: Free Shooting Games – FPS listed first in the shooter category. What’s the point of browsing when constant crap fills your screen?
We’re working on a new recommendation engine powered by machine-learning, that can match players to games based on their individual tastes. Algorithms are only a part of our discoverability solution, however, so we’re building more broadcasting and curating features and are constantly assessing the overall design of the store.
What this ultimately means to you is that you should begin seeing more relevant games based on your own tastes, as those tastes will be matched up against the millions of others on the service. I am not sure about you guys, but I quite enjoy Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlist because it does help me discover new music quite often. I’d hope to see the same kind of improved discoverability with Steam, which means we spend less time searching, and more time playing.
Other improvements coming to Steam this year include a China roll-out, an update to the client’s Library, Steam TV expansions, and even more updates to Steam Chat – including on the mobile side.