A Brief History of Twitch Chat

Old Era

For me, chat is the most recognizable feature on Twitch, chat is pivotal to the Twitch experience. Indeed, I think it's the feature that has had the largest cultural impact. To the end user the chat is what sets Twitch apart from other social sites. There's somethign special about watching an event in real-time with hundreds of thousands of people, jointly communicating. the energy is infectious. Before 2013, capturing chat, from the PogChamp reactions to the Kappa memes, wasn't easy, and most events of this era exist only in memory. Or in scattered videos.


In 2015 a new era was born. A browser extension, ReChat, became popular. This extension would automatically load chat files when it detected you were watching a vod on Through the use of chat archival tools chat logs were saved forever, and with the ReChat extension they could be played back in perpetuity. Only large channels were archived, in this respect it was quite limited, but for the vast majority of cases ReChat was a great solution.

Chat Replay

Transitioning into 2016, the creator of a ReChat was hired by Twitch, and (I can only imagine) helped develop native functionality. Now we have truely reached the modern era of chat storage. With even tiny channels having chat archives availiable on their vods. New features keep being added like the ability to retroactively chat on a vod, and the ability to moderate chat archives, giving toxicity nowhere to hide.


This brings us to the current year. Only streams with unavaliable vods have unavaliable chat logs. Unfortuantly some of these streams are particularly interesting, namely the TwitchPresents marathons. This necessitated the creation of the TCR extension.