Banned from Chatting, Banned from Watching – Twitch’s New Rule

August 23, 2023

Welcome to Stream Report, a newsletter from Gaming Careers covering important news and updates in streaming and content creation.

In this issue: Twitch's new feature allows streamers to block viewers, common mistakes holding back your streams, and Twitch's experimental TikTok-style discovery feed.

Twitch Empowers Streamers with the Ability to Ban Viewers

Twitch Empowers Streamers with Ability to Ban Viewers
Twitch Empowers Streamers with the Ability to Ban Viewers

Twitch is set to enhance its moderation capabilities with a new feature that will allow streamers to block banned users from viewing their livestreams. This significant change, which has been eagerly anticipated by the Twitch community, was announced during the platform’s monthly product-focused live show, “Patch Notes”.

Currently, banned users on Twitch are only restricted from participating in the chat while still being able to view the streams. The new feature, rolling out in September, will empower streamers to remove individuals from both chat and live streams in real-time. However, it won’t prevent banned users from viewing Video on Demand (VODs) or clips, but Twitch has indicated that this functionality may be included in future updates.

Despite being a significant step forward, there are some limitations. The new feature will not apply to users who watch streams without logging into an account, meaning that banned individuals could potentially continue viewing by logging out or using an incognito browser. To address this, Twitch is considering the implementation of IP bans in the future.

This update is part of Twitch’s ongoing efforts to improve its moderation and tackle issues such as harassment and misconduct, which have been particularly prevalent in the form of Twitch Hate Raids. Twitch has been striving to create a safer environment for its users, with initiatives such as the introduction of a one-button anti-harassment tool, an improved reporting and appeals process, and a stronger stance against deepfakes.

Interestingly, this move by Twitch contrasts sharply with recent news from Twitter/X CEO Elon Musk, who announced plans to remove the blocking functionality from his platform. This divergence in approach underscores the ongoing debate around the best ways to handle moderation and user safety on social media platforms.

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5 Mistakes Holding Back Your Twitch Stream

5 Mistakes Holding Back Your Twitch Stream
5 Mistakes Holding Back Your Twitch Stream

In the world of Twitch streaming, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with advice on how to grow your audience. However, not all advice is good advice. Here are five common mistakes that could be holding back your Twitch stream:

  1. Streaming Too Much: Streaming for long hours doesn’t necessarily translate to growth. Twitch doesn’t do much to promote smaller streamers, and most viewers don’t spend time searching for new streams. Instead, diversify your content by producing videos for platforms like YouTube or TikTok, which are more discoverable.
  2. The Discord Dilemma: While having a Discord server seems like a great idea, it might be a waste of time if there’s no active engagement. Rather than creating your own server, participate in existing communities that align with your interests. Once you’ve built a sizable audience, you can then launch your own server.
  3. Posting Everything Everywhere: Trying to be present on all social media platforms can be overwhelming and could dilute the quality of your content. Instead, focus on one or two platforms that best cater to your audience and create content that fits those platforms.
  4. Ignoring Just Chatting: While sticking to a single game can help build an audience, Twitch viewers are becoming more flexible and open to streamers playing different games. Dedicate part of your stream to the Just Chatting section to engage with your audience and consider playing games that are similar to your main content.
  5. Buying The Latest Gear: Having high-end equipment doesn’t guarantee viewer engagement or retention. Instead of investing in expensive gear, focus on enhancing your content. If you need to improve your production quality, you can do so with affordable equipment.

Remember, the key to successful streaming is creating engaging content and building a loyal audience. Focus on honing your skills as a diverse content creator and avoid falling for unhelpful advice.

Dive deeper into these topics with our comprehensive guide that elaborates on these pitfalls to avoid and provides proven strategies to help you expand your livestream audience.

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Twitch Tests TikTok-Style Discovery Feed

Twitch Tests TikTok Style Discovery Feed
Twitch Tests TikTok-Style Discovery Feed

Twitch is now experimenting with a ‘discovery feed’, a TikTok-style feature that presents a vertically-scrolling feed of clips from various creators. Currently, this feature is available to a select number of users and is part of Twitch’s efforts to enhance content discovery.

In its initial phase, the feed will only display horizontal clips, but Twitch has stated that vertical clips will be included as the feature evolves. The discovery feed will consist of ‘featured’ clips, which creators can choose to include, as well as popular clips.

This move by Twitch is indicative of a wider trend among tech companies, such as Spotify, Amazon, and Reddit, of adopting TikTok-like formats. Twitch announced the discovery feed in July, along with the ability to directly export clips to TikTok.

However, some might argue that this move comes a bit late. Many gaming creators have already established substantial followings on vertical video platforms like TikTok, where gaming content is consumed by millions daily. Had Twitch introduced this feature sooner, it could have established itself as a go-to platform for vertical gaming clips.

Moreover, Twitch’s new feature may face limitations as it only supports clips from livestreams made on its platform. This contrasts with platforms like TikTok, which are agnostic to the source of the video content. This could potentially limit the variety of content available on Twitch’s discovery feed.

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The founder of Gaming Careers with a borderline unhealthy obsession for cameras, microphones, and all things streaming. He gets mistaken for Stephen Merchant at least 5 times a day.

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