Most of us would be lying if we said we didn’t fantasize about playing games for a living but is Twitch really the best platform in which to live out our dreams?
Twitch certainly does have huge viewership potential as well as fun and unique ways for viewers to interact with the channel. However, it’s no secret live streamers all across the globe have a few bones to pick with the most popular streaming platform to date.
Small Streamers Be Damned
Getting started on Twitch can feel overwhelming and intimidating. After months of saving money and planning and gathering courage, once you finally get started you might feel like a fish on dry land, just flopping around hoping someone might show you how to get to the water that is Twitch Partner.
Most streamers, at some point, feel like no matter how hard they work and how much they network they can’t get their feet off the ground. Obviously, not everyone can “make it” on Twitch and there are going to be people who find that streaming just isn’t for them. However, for those of us that genuinely work hard and have a platform to be proud of, there just isn’t enough support on Twitch for a small streamer to have a chance of a chance… of a chance.
A lot of this is due to the lack of any real algorithm on Twitch. At most, you might get recommended a streamer who’s playing the same game you watched someone else play last week. Unlike Youtube, Twitch doesn’t have a complex algorithm for you to play off of in order to up your chances of getting discovered. If you’re not already achieving desirable numbers, Twitch does not care about you.
With the insane amount of users who stream on Twitch, you would think that Twitch would do what they can in order to get small channels to grow so that they can then profit off of that Streamer’s work. Instead, Twitch loses money by supporting all of the HD streaming for these creators who are making no money, and in turn not making Twitch any money. It seems to me that using some of daddy Bezos’s money to create some sort of algorithm to help streamers get recognized would be in their best interest as well as ours.
I’m hoping that somewhere down the road Twitch finally gets their act together, but I’m not holding my breath. It would be nice for streamers to see the light at the end of the tunnel of zero views blues. Unfortunately, Twitch’s business strategy (or lack of one) seems to be working. Their platform continues to grow and grow, and many big companies believe if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
It’s A Bird, It’s a Plane… It’s a DMCA Strike!
Twitch likes to portray a streamer-friendly environment where they will have your back and support you through the whole process. Then, when you need them most, they are unresponsive, unhelpful, and apathetic.
When streamers come to Twitch with real concerns, Twitch just laughs and says “that sucks”. Well, what they actually say is usually some scripted rhetoric about how they are aware of your concern and they are working on finding a solution. Spoiler alert, they aren’t.
Speaking of Twitch’s total lack of concern or resources, let’s talk about the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act) issues. Over the last year, Twitch has had several waves of sudden takedowns of VODs and even entire channels.
These takedown notices showed up in streamers’ inboxes with no notice and no workable solutions. While Twitch has promised they will try to do better in the future by being more transparent on when these waves might be coming and what to do about them, for many streamers the damage has already been done.
The only real and “helpful” tips Twitch has shared about avoiding DMCA strikes is to either delete your VODs old and new and turn off your audience’s ability to clip. This solution is laughable to most, as it isn’t a sustainable solution.
VODs and clips are an integral part of Twitch channels, and if those things are taken away then that’s just one less way for your channel to be discoverable or interactable.
There has been an outcry from creators for Twitch to do better and to provide better solutions to protect streamers. The few options they have provided are either entirely unhelpful or are poorly integrated.
Trolls Be Trollin’
It’s no secret that Twitch doesn’t put any effort into protecting its creators. The way they “handle” the inevitable internet trolls on their platform is abysmal.
If Twitch finds that you have any fake followers (bots) on your channel they will remove them. This is all well and good, but now creators are seeing an increase in what’s called “follow botting”. If you happen to gain the attention of a troll and said troll decides to make your life a living hell, they can spend money to send hundreds of bot accounts to your channel to follow bomb you. If you are live streaming with follow alerts turned on when this happens, it doesn’t take long for things to get chaotic.
While you can go ahead and turn follow alerts off and continue streaming as normal, it can be impossible to know how many real followers you actually have, and you may even have to convince Twitch that you didn’t pay for those followers yourself!
Twitch has yet to provide any solutions of their own because doing so would be no benefit to them. Thankfully a third-party site called Twitch Tools by @Commanderroot can help you remove the bot followers and make it so it’s like it never happened. It’s frustrating to hear that in order for streamers to protect themselves and their channel they have to go to third-party sites for support.
Ight Imma Head Out…
Honestly, I have really enjoyed my time live streaming on Twitch this last year. I have made some phenomenal friends and I’ve been able to create some amazing content that I can really be proud of. That being said, it is frustrating to see these amazing creators not get the recognition or support they deserve.
When a platform offers almost no support structure or consistency and yet takes half of all of your earnings, it’s easy to feel like you’re being taken advantage of. Yes, Twitch does provide the platform and bandwidth to host an incredibly large community of streamers, but that’s about it.
Other platforms like Facebook are starting to notice Twitch’s glaring flaws. Facebook Gaming has announced that for some amount of time they will be allowing their creators to keep 100% of their earnings.
If Twitch wants to continue to see growth in users and revenue they are going to have to step up their game. If not, well, I’ll see you all on Facebook.