With 2017 coming to an end and the convention season slowing down to smaller comic conventions, one of the conventions I was looking forward to streaming was TwitchCon. I’ve always loved to watch playthroughs of games and let’s plays and what not, and back when it was justin.tv, I had an account on there and I would just sit there while crocheting and watch some fabulous streamers for hours on end.
If you are unfamiliar with what Twitch is, it’s a live streaming platform, formerly known as justin.tv, that has a focus on video game streaming. Justin Kan and Kyle Vogt were the founders of justin.tv, which was originally just Justin wearing a baseball cap rigged to stream online via a laptop backpack created by Kyle. Eventually, they started streaming 24/7, which garnered a lot of attention from the media. There were very few life streamers on the internet at the time, most notably iJustine and JoeInIraq. In late 2007, they opened registration to the public so more people could broadcast. Eventually joined by Micheal Seibel and Emmett Shear, justin.tv grew exponentially.
They noticed that the gaming category had been growing and growing with each day, putting an emphasis on e-sports. Noting the demand, in 2011 they created a spin-off of justin.tv called twitch.tv, or as we know Twitch. Speculated to be named after twitch gaming, it took off, becoming one of the largest e-sports streaming services in the world. By adding the partner system, they were able to see their numbers double. In 2014, justin.tv, the parent company, and twitch.tv became Twitch Interactive. Since then, it has become the site that many gamers, including myself, have to come to know and love.
Why the history lesson?
Well, this year at TwitchCon there were some amazing announcements during the keynote presentation and I’m so excited to share them with you as well as my thoughts on them!
This is probably one of the features I’m reallllly excited about because this gives us instant access to all of our stats after a stream, included but not limited to achievements you receive during the stream, what the most popular clips are, traffic sources and more. Having done a little streaming in the past, I always wanted to know all of this information on my dashboard. I cannot wait till the system updates.
I know a lot of people who have viewing parties for the premieres of shows, or just episodes of shows if you’re an avid Game of Thrones watcher like me. What Twitch is looking to do is bring that aspect to your personal channel. Before the end of the year, we will be able to show our works in a new and exciting way as well as interact with the audience while we premiere them. I’m really looking forward to seeing how they make this happen and how hype we can make these videos.
Starting in November, it’ll be easier for everyone to connect with everyone during raids. One of the best ways to grow on Twitch is to collaborate with others and they will be making it so much easier by using the /raid command to post about your raid and to invite others to join you. They are even going a step further and adding that you will automatically host the channel you send viewers towards. I’m really excited for this, now having access to a PS4 and some great games, I want to utilize this for my own gameplay experience so I can play with some of my favorite streamers!
This is another one of the features that really excited me. First off, we all know Twitch chatrooms are usually so chaotic and so crazy with comments that it’s hard to know if the streamer can actually see what you’re saying or have an actual conversation with others who came to watch the stream as well. These rooms give the streamer the ability to have certain rooms for certain things, rooms which stay open even after the stream has ended. It basically creates a place for everyone to talk in that community, which is nice because it’s all in one place, as opposed to having to find others who love TinaDayton as much as I do.
This is another cool feature that I wish existed back in the day. I’m not the best at introducing myself in chatrooms and in Twitch, usually, your introduction gets lost in the sea of comments and chatter. This feature, if you’re a new viewer to that streamer, will ask if you want to be introduced to the channel, as a way to make breaking the ice a little easier. Twitch also expressed wanting to create better community relations, which is always a good thing in my book.
Many streamers eventually get to the point where they want to know the steps to becoming an affiliate or partner but don’t quite know where to start. I know on other sites, including Twitch, it’s been a little difficult to locate them. On Twitch, these achievements are supposed to make it easier for streamers to know what those steps are while also encouraging them to create their best content. Creating this step by step and fun way of becoming an affiliate or partner is something that I can say sets Twitch apart from other streaming services. Instead of just writing an article that they put at the bottom of the page, they create an interactive way to go about this, really keying into what the gamers want and things they would find interesting, at least to me.
Last but certainly not least, they are allowing people to gift others streaming subscriptions! We will be able to purchase a 1-month subscription, including the $4.99, $9.99 and $24.99 options. While I’ve never been compelled to gift someone else a subscription, I know some people who would probably really appreciate it. Subscribing to a channel on Twitch usually includes special emotes, subscriber badges and anything other gifts the streamer wants to give that Twitch allows! With the gifting service, you will have all those benefits and recognition in chat and to third parties. The release date is unknown but Twitch will be keeping us informed on their website.
In the end, all of the things that Twitch announced for the end of the year are things I’ve heard streamers ask for, things I’ve asked for and things I didn’t know I wanted until they told me they were creating it. I’m really looking forward to seeing how this company grows and what else they can think up. They changed the gaming world with this streaming channel and I can’t thank them enough.
That about covers my favorite topic this week! I’ll end the post by talking about my favorite panel and sharing my favorite gif at the bottom, which was about different ways to be unique in the video game community because it was hilarious and touched on a lot of interesting topics. Plus who wouldn’t want to watch someone play games with a turntable, their feet or bananas??
Until next time