The first-ever TwitchCon Opening Ceremony on Friday brought with it several announcements of new features and changes coming to Twitch, including the Twitch Studio for new creators and the new Channel Page. Twitch has long been the top online streaming platform, despite the internet turning against Twitch after a series of missteps by the company.
Twitch has recently been making several questionable decisions regarding content moderation, allowing some rule-breaking streamers while banning others seemingly arbitrarily. Twitch has a sexual content problem, banning harmless content and allowing other, clearly sexual streamers to continue. It even promoted porn on Ninja's old channel after the streamer left Twitch for Mixer. Twitch has also allowed streamers to stay despite other rule-breaking content, allowing its current most popular streamer, Tfue, to continue after Tfue used racist language during his stream.
During the TwitchCon 2019 Opening Ceremony, Twitch introduced several new additions to the site that it hopes will help streamers further customize their content. Twitch detailed the Twitch Studio system, which is meant to provide new streamers with a guided set-up for their channels when it launches for all streamers this November. The Twitch Studio provides templates for creators to customize their streams and built-in activity feed, chat and alerts for audience interaction while streaming. A new Creator Dashboard, launching in October, allows streamers to create a set of quick actions for use during streams. A redesign coming to the Channel Page (where users land when arriving at a streamer's channel) will allow streamers to create a channel trailer and publish stream schedules for easy viewing, though this feature won't arrive until late 2020.
Similar to the recently-introduced Twitch subscriber-only streams, the platform also announced more features aimed at creating better connections between streamers and viewers, including more tools for moderation and the all new Channel Points. Affiliates and Partners will be able to reward viewers with channel-specific points, which can be redeemed for rewards like emotes and highlighted messages. Additionally, Twitch iOS app users will now be able to subscribe to channels. Perhaps the most obvious TwitchCon change, though, is the site's new look. The Twitch redesign, explained by the Twitch CEO at TwitchCon, allows streamers to customize the colors of their channels, breaking away from the standard purple Twitch color scheme. The redesign also changes the site's logo and general layout, increasing the size of video windows and thumbnails.
The Twitch changes generally seem to be for the better, allowing streamers to more easily make their channels their own. However, many were unhappy about Twitch's subscriber-only paywall, however. With even Ninja's first day on Mixer nabbing him half a million subscribers (grown to more than 2 million at the time of writing), the pressure has been on Twitch to secure its dominance of the streaming market. Time will tell how streamers and viewers take to the new Twitch features.