PAX South 2017 Q&A: The Future of Twitch Broadcasting
Twitch is by far the most popular streaming platform on the planet not only for video games, but also for tabletop gaming, various forms of art design, and talk shows among others things. Over at PAX South 2017 a few of the head honchos over at Twitch (including the lead community manager @Aureylian) came in to chat about their future plans.
First off, and most importantly to the future success of Twitch, what are communities?
Communities are user generated groups showcasing a specific kind of broadcast, this allows streamers to more easily connect with an audience which have similar interests. So, for example, if you only want to see Overwatch gameplay featuring Soldier 76, then you can create your own community allowing only Soldier 76 broadcasts.
The service will be going into open beta soon, however only users with 3-month old accounts and verified emails may create communities.
How will communities be moderated?
Creators and hand-picked moderators of a community can ban someone from their group should they not follow the rules. However, this self governing system can’t be used to harass or abuse others and the ban only applies to that specific community.
What kind of properties can you edit in a community?
Banners and avatars can be customized, also you can set clearly visible rules.
Won’t there be confusion with both Game Directories and Community Directories?
Initially yes, and there’s not much that can be done to avoid that, but as time goes on users will create and seek out the more niche interests. Another example of a potential community is a speedrun only group for a particular game like Dark Souls.
Why hasn’t there been more communication on Twitch’s part regarding bans against specific games or users?
Essentially: privacy. However, there are people in place to prevent mistakes and miscommunication.
Why doesn’t Twitch do more to help support smaller streamers? For example, bits and cheering are not available for non-partners.
We want to help, but it takes time and manpower. While we try to do as much as we can, it helps tremendously if you have high quality content and participate in community outreach events.
Spill the beans! Tell us about the fabled Golden Kappa!
When are we going to be able to stream IRL with the mobile app?
Soon! Sign up for the beta.
How can we meet our favorite streamers?
Visit TwitchCon, the featured broadcasters will be announced roughly a month in advance.
Why aren’t there TwitchCons on the East Coast or in Europe?
There are many factors that go into considering a location, including but not limited to: convention center availability, nearby airports, hotels, facilities, restaurants, and even what the weather is like. Maybe something suitable can be found elsewhere, but no guarantees.
What’s the deal with Justin.TV usernames?
Inactive accounts, and by extension handles, are being recycled for others to claim.
Why isn’t Twitch Prime available in other countries?
While we are working hard to get many of our features spread across the globe it can be exceptionally difficult or outright impossible due to the legal gymnastics required.
How are small streamers supposed to get exposure?
Utilize communities and auto-hosting! Also, we are working hard on improving our current systems like discover and search.
I have this great idea to make Twitch better!
If you have something you’d like to see then speak up! Many features come about because of the users, famously Twitch Plays Pokemon. We had no idea such a thing would not only be possible, but massively popular.
How does discovery work?
It’s complicated data science created and observed by the best in the business. Basically there are formulas in place to track viewer interest, i.e. if one person likes this broadcast, they probably like this other one too. Additionally, activity sharing through friends is a powerful tool in finding streams attuned to your taste.
What is Automod?
It’s a super cool system that uses algorithms to automatically determine how to improve chat as a whole, currently it’s being utilized by roughly 10% of broadcasts.
What is the followers only mode?
It’s the non-partnered version of ‘subs only mode’. The goal is to prevent toxicity and increase followers while avoiding reducing chat participation.
Above all else the Twitch platform is focused on one goal in particular: connecting broadcasters and their audience. The various features and improvements over the years are result of that constant effort.