Twitch Have Changed Their Homepage to a Twitter-Style Feed
It's hard to know exactly how to characterise Twitch. Is it a streaming channel? A gaming community? A place to watch thousands of people all trying to play one game at the same time? Increasingly, it's starting to feel more like a social gaming hub, with streaming holding everything together. Plenty of Twitch users never stream, they just watch, and happily interact with one another as they do so.
This is probably part of the reason why Twitch have remodelled their landing page. The new one, dubbed 'Pulse', allows broadcasters to post status updates, links, images and videos (the non-streamy kind). This way, they can keep their followers updated on everything they've got going on beyond simply streaming. It will also make it easier to promote upcoming streams, share clips and other things that broadcasters might have had to retreat to a different platform to do in the past.
This is another example of a follower-based service trying to expand its options in a bid to make sure that users don't get redirected elsewhere. If you can promote content on the same platform you post it, everything is accounted for. YouTube did it, Soundcloud are flirting with it, and now Twitch are taking a run at it.
The one caveat is that only broadcasting users can pulse, other users can like and comment, but they can't actually put anything up. In a sense, this might be a way of encouraging more users to actually get streaming, which would then turn Pulse into more a two-way street. The other benefit of this is that broadcasters can control which of their followers can actually like/comment on things, so they could make sure they're only interacting with friends, for example.
Features like hashtags and user tags aren't in the mix, but on a platform like Twitch there isn't really any need for them. Pulse doesn't really have to expand any further beyond this, we have enough social networks as it is, using some Twitter formatting to enhance the service is clever, but Twitch will only continue to be successful as long as it doesn't loose track of why people love it. I've always championed the idea that the best social networks aren't social networks at all (Goodreads for instance), and it's the same story with Twitch.
Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @Songbird_Callum
Twitch Have Changed Their Homepage to a Twitter-Style Feed Reviewed by Callum Davies on Thursday, March 09, 2017 Rating: