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Microsoft is set to take on YouTube and Amazon's Twitch by buying its own livestreaming service.

The Xbox maker today announced its plans to acquire live-streaming service Beam, a Seattle-based company founded by 18 year old Matt Salsamendi.

The teen, who launched his firm in January, says it already has 100,000 users.

The Xbox maker today announced its plans to acquire live-streaming service Beam, a Seattle-based company founded by 18 year old Matt Salsamendi

Unlike other streaming services, it lets users influence and interact with a video game being streamed by another player.

Beam lets viewers suggest challenges for streamers and even alter in-game aspects like weapon loadout and quest selection.

It also lets developers create special button layouts for viewers to interact with games being streamed through Beam.

'We at Xbox are excited about this convergence between playing and watching, and want to provide gamers with the freedom and choice to have great multiplayer experiences across all of Beam's platforms,' Chad Gibson, a partner group program manager at Microsoft's Xbox Live division, said in a statement.

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'This acquisition will help gamers enjoy the games they want, with the people they want, and on the devices they want.'

No terms of the deal were disclosed.

He revealed how the system may work with Minecraft.

'Using 'Minecraft' as one example, with Beam you don't just watch your favorite streamer play, you play along with them.

'You can give them new challenges and make real-time choices that affect their gameplay, from tool selection to quests to movement; all through simple visual controls.'

Salsamendi says Beam will continue operating even as he and his colleagues integrate into the Xbox engineering group.

In a blog post on Beam's website, Salsamendi says the service grew to around 100,000 users after launching in January of this year.

'As part of Xbox, we'll be able to scale faster than we've ever been able to before,' he writes.

'We're expanding the team, bolstering our infrastructure, and most importantly, continuing to grow and support the amazing community at Beam.'


After running a massive game server platform hosting Minecraft servers for four years, Matthew Salsamendi, at the age of 18, decided to launch Beam.

The Seattle-based startup lets creators chat with viewers, but also allows them to participate and control certain parts of the game being streamed.

Players interacting through Beam can direct the play of the person streaming, doing things like setting which weapon loadout they take into battle for multiplayer shooters, for example.

It launched at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2016, and won the Startup Battlefield competition.

Winners of the TechCrunch Disrupt Startup Battlefield Matt Salsamendi and James Boehm of Beam pose for a photo during TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2016 at Brooklyn Cruise Terminal on May 11, 2016 in New York City.

Salsamendi, from Bellevue in Seattle, is 'passionate about high availability infrastructure and web performance!' according to his bio.

'In his free time you'll find him programming, designing theater lighting, flying planes, and creating short films,' it adds.

However, even Salsamendi was not expecting the approach - in a recent interview with Geekwire, when asked if he would you rather have Gates, Zuckerberg or Bezos in your corner, he answered: 'Zuckerberg, hands down.

'He has a unique global perspective on human interaction and communities.

'We function as an indirect social network for gamers, and Zuckerberg is the king of social.

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