Twitch, the ultimate go-to for gamers, has put the gaming world in a spin with its new ad restrictions. On Tuesday, Twitch released a brand new set of advertising rules that stirred up quite the hornet’s nest among the community. The rules aimed to prevent any advertisement partnerships outside of Twitch-endorsed ads, meaning burned-in ads, popular for placing company logos or branding during live streams, were suddenly rendered obsolete. To make things worse, these rules were rolled out without any community discussion leading to one loud, massive backlash on social media.
This decision did not sit well with the content creators who form the backbone of this community. The recent reductions in creator subscription revenue, inconsistent moderation, and jabs at creators’ ability to get their own independent revenue streams going led to a feeling of neglect that has transformed Twitch. Once the go-to platform for the creator-first community, Twitch now feels like it’s stuck in reverse. This sentiment is summed up perfectly by one network who tweeted out, “The once-unique and admirable vision of a creator-first platform now feels like a fading and distant dream.”
But things were about to take a pivot. Twitch quickly reversed its policy within hours of its initial release thanks to the massive backlash. In their official statement, Twitch admitted that the branded content guidelines put forth on Tuesday “are bad for you and bad for Twitch.” Recognizing that sponsorships are critical to a streamer’s growth and ability to earn, Twitch apologized profusely and promised to improve things by stating, “We will not prevent your ability to enter into direct relationships with sponsors—you will continue to own and control your sponsorship business.”
It’s still too early to tell if Twitch will recover from this setback, but what is certain is that this isn’t the first time users have spoken out against the platform. With insurgent platforms threatening Twitch’s very market position and the content creators, who made Twitch what it was in the first place, packing up their gear, it’s time for Twitch to get serious about their mishaps. Otherwise, they could become the least creator-friendly platform in the social media landscape, putting their entire ecosystem at risk.
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