This isn’t just about Twitch getting rid of their communities, this is also about feeling left out, once again, by this platform.
Communities on Twitch started off for Small Streamers to have a better rate of viewing. Or so like-minded people can share things with each other.
“Communities are a new discovery tool to help streamers connect to the most relevant audiences and help viewers discover streams that fit their interests easier and faster than ever.” -Twitch
I’d like to see the stats on which ethnicities use Twitch the most. Do People of Color or non POC use Twitch more? We know who is represented but, who uses the platform the most? I’m going to go with POC. In studies it shows, POC buy the most games & game consoles.
Once again POC are being screwed out of finding each other on this niche platform. We’d like to continue to grow communities like BGG, Thumbstick Mafia and The CookOut. POCs on Twitch are taking advantage of Communities because this can dwindle down on harassment.
— Katiechu (@PikaChulita) August 9, 2018
It’s a huge relief to go to a streamers page and see communities like ours and @TheCookoutPoC and @Official_BGG and @BlkGmrsRev and many others tagged to the stream! That’s how you know it’s fam and shows that you’ve got hella communities that have your back 😞😔
— BrownGirlGamerCode (@BrwnGrlGamrCode) August 9, 2018
Being in Black Girl Gamers you hear stuff like, “I want to stream or play online but (insert horrific online story here).” Bringing Black women together is a main part of BGG. Allowing them to feel safe during their hobby is another part. We want to continue to reach out to people any way we can; with Communities our reach became a bit further. Twitch says that Community usage is down 3%. A theory behind that is, we’re only allowed three communities. I picked the three communities which best suit me, BGG, Thumbstick Mafia & The Cookout. I choose these communities because people looking into these communities is the demographic I would like to reach. Once you find the community which suits you, why would you keep looking? I didn’t choose, Street Fighter, Tekken or Esports. I didn’t search for those first. Twitch is about you and not the game that you play – build it and they will come. It doesn’t matter what I play but, my audience does matter.
I feel like Twitch should have focused more on showing how the community tabs work as well as adding them to mobile before writing them off as an unsuccessful feature. I regularly use the community tabs to find and raid new streamers within my demographic who share the same-
— Xmiramira (@Xmiramira) August 11, 2018
After creating the BGG Community, we started to grow even more. There are people who don’t have Facebook so they couldn’t know about BGG Facebook group. Being on Twitch and being able to search; girl gamer, black girl, black content creator, black streams, women of color or any of those keywords made POC feel more welcoming on Twitch. For those people just joining the streaming culture and have no idea where to find support besides searching via Twitch’s search bar, how will our communities reach them? I understand the insertion of tags but, if Twitch is so great at identifying and unifying groups, we wouldn’t have had to make a video showing off the literal dark side of Twitch with streamers of color both men and women.
We can submit tags but which tags will get approved? Who at Twitch has the authority to say, ‘yes, this group is important so they will get a tag?’ And anyone can use the tags. These tags remind me of hashtags on Instagram. I can type in #NiggasBeLike on IG right now and find hundreds or thousands of people who shouldn’t be using that hashtag. It may be the same thing with tags. Anyone can tag themselves to get the views of that group. With all the people who make fun of Black people on Twitch, what’s going to stop them tagging themselves as #Black or something that identifies with our community? Will the Twitch staff be willing to regulate who gets to use which tag? What is stopping from these people using the tags to bait people of the community then berate them when we get there.
Another thing, it's being replaced with tags… Meaning that it won't be regulated.
— Zombie Exterminator (@Yoo_Tori) August 9, 2018
ALL MY TWITCH LIFE I HAD TO FIGHT! With tags, that fight may get more intense.
I get that Twitch is a primarily a gaming platform so making ways to filter our FPS from FGC is a good idea but, what about the people? We POC need to feel included and our voice heard. Trust me, if we keep feeling like we need to sit at the back of the bus we will create our own.