Steam to radically overhaul social exposure

Downloading a PC game is no longer going to be just about finding a title and clicking the “Purchase” button.

It’s going to be filled with all kinds of social integration that Steam creator Valve hopes will not only increase the level of engagement among its users but also help consumers make more informed purchase decisions.

Valve is known for creating some of the most popular hardcore PC games, but its reach has been vastly extended thanks to its digital distribution platform Steam. It acts as a centralized hub for PC gamers of all stripes to download and get instant access to games from all kinds of publishers across all genres.

But it has mainly been an isolated experience, until last year when Valve launched a “Screenshots” feature that allowed players to share in-game screen captures with other Steam users. Now, Steam is going to be more social than ever.

When you go to a game page you will soon be presented with a “Hub” that contains all kinds of social content – forums, users discussions, submitted screenshots, user videos, etc.

“Since we launched Steam Screenshots in February 2011, players have taken over 80 million screenshots chronicling their adventures, conquests, battles, victories, and defeats. Since May 2011, almost 1 million videos were shared by linking your YouTube and Steam accounts.

“And since the introduction of the Steam Workshop in September, you’ve created over 200,000 Workshop items…So we’re working on a Community update focused on finding and sharing the best of that content,” the company wrote in a statement.