Twitch has been one of the most successful streaming platforms for the better part of a decade. According to reports, the platform currently has over 30 million active users, coupled with a staggering 2.5 million concurrent viewers at any given moment.
Although it is the go-to platform for the streaming community, Twitch has managed to gather several detractors over the years. From their strict revenue policies to the lack of transparency behind suspensions and bans, the platform's decisions have often been the subject of criticism.
This article will delve into five such policies, updates, or features that have spurred a lot of debate in the community.
5 controversial updates introduced by Twitch this year
1) 50/50 revenue split
On September 21, the purple platform took to its official Twitter account to reveal that they had tweaked the existing revenue split between the platform and creators.
The company's president, Dan Clancy, announced that creators would be able to retain 70% of their first $100K made through subscriptions. Following this, all subsequent revenue generated by subscriptions would have to be divided in an even 50-50 split between the platform and streamer. The new payout system will go into effect after June 1, 2023.
This policy was met with harsh criticism from users and large streamers. Ludwig and MoistCr1TiKaL were among the notable names who called out the platform for their strict revenue policy.
2) Banning Stake.com and gambling
Twitch decided to drop a bombshell in September when they officially announced that the platform would be prohibiting the use of unlicensed gambling websites. Stake, Rollbit, Duelbits, and Roobet are among the various sites that were blacklisted.
Stake, in particular, was a major sponsor for gambling streams. Although the update was mostly appreciated by the community, many streamers were unhappy with the announcement. Tyler "Trainwreckstv," an avid slot streamer, was among the first to speak out against the company's decision to prohibit slots/gambling streams.
3) Mandatory mask policy at TwitchCon 2022
The recently concluded TwitchCon 2022, which took place in San Diego on October 7-9, garnered a lot of attention due to several reasons. From individuals getting injured to reports of harassment, the event was tainted with controversy.
Prior to the start of the event, Twitch announced through their socials that the organizing committee had decided to impose a mandatory mask policy during the event. In addition, visitors had to produce a legitimate vaccination certificate to enter the venue.
Like the gambling policy, the safety update provided by the platform had the support of most of the community. However, many found the guidelines to be too restrictive.
4) Concerns over children's security
The fourth addition to this list comes not in the form of a policy or update but rather the lack of one. Earlier this year, an article published by Bloomberg stated that between October 2020 and August 2022, there were a whopping 1,976 cases of individuals using the platform to follow children in order to exploit them.
This has been a topic of great debate within the community. It wasn't until three weeks ago that the platform decided to improve its security and safety measures to prevent grooming and abuse.
Based on an update made on November 24, the Amazon-owned platform will take steps, such as using "mandatory phone verification," to identify and block accounts that provide inaccurate age information. Twitch will also work with Spirit AI to parse through written text on the platform and detect any suspicious activity.
5) Layout update
In June 2022, Twitch decided to tweak the layout of the desktop version of the website. The new UI changed how users could scroll through streams when browsing by category. While a user was browsing a particular category, the most viewed stream in the category would now take up almost half the page.
Many took to Twitter to declare that the update was unnecessary since users were required to manually click on the arrows to navigate the streams, which was more tedious and unintuitive than the previous UI that allowed for scrolling. The platform later rescinded the update.