Game streaming service Twitch has had a shocker. Today Twitch released new guidelines for branded streams. This sent the community into outrage.
The new branded content guidelines included the following changes..
- On-stream logos are limited to 3% of screen size.
- Burned-in video Ads are NOT allowed.
- Burned-in Display Ads are NOT allowed.
- Burned-in Audio Ads are NOT allowed.
As you can imagine, those who make their primary income on Twitch were immediately concerned that their livelihood was about to come to an end and began looking for alternative streaming platforms.
With many outraged Twitch users turning to Twitter, it was only a matter of time before the ex-CEO was asked to help. Twitter which started as an SMS service and is best known for its 140-character text-based tweets, has now morphed into something quite different.
The platform now offers longer Tweets (with formatting), polls, images, gifs, and even longer-form video, along with live audio in Twitter Spaces.
While supporting live-streaming video would consume a lot more bandwidth and therefore add additional cost, Musk would also have more content to sell to advertisers, while still offering less restrictive requirements than what Twitch is trying on.
Aussie YouTuber Steve Mark Ryan posted that Twitch was begging to be disrupted by Twitter, to which Elon replied.. ‘Ok fine we’ll do it’.
This would require Twitter to grow up in many spaces. Firstly, the platform doesn’t have any live streaming support from the desktop, there’s no comment system, and there’s no gifting live on the stream, but they do have subscriptions in place. Twitter also offers the recording and playback of Twitter spaces, so conceptually, applying this to video streams, doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch.
There is of course a whole ecosystem that has developed in game streaming across platforms like Twitch and YouTube gaming. This includes everything from on-screen software utilities like OBS that allow users to customise their gameplay with picture-in-picture camera feeds and also hardware accessories, like those from Elgato. These would all need to add support for Twitter for them to have a viable path for migration.
Finally, there’s the revenue split. Twitter would likely take a lower cut of any revenue share deals than competing platforms, to gain marketshare.
Having seen all this, along with a massive backlash from Twitch users, the company issued a series of Tweets to effectively back down from their changes today. The thing they can’t back out of is the fact they just created a new competitor – Twitter.