Why Clips Are The Future Of Twitch
I believe that Twitch Clips have the opportunity to become the future of Twitch.
Why? Because Twitch currently works on a content search model from 2015. It’s why discoverability is so low, and it’s why it will struggle to grow to the same level as YouTube.
But no matter how many times I tweet about it, it’s not going to happen. So here is a essay. An essay about why Clips should be the future on Twitch.
But what are Twitch Clips and why should we care?
What Are Twitch Clips?
Clips can be created by Twitch viewers and streamers to easily share a 5-60 second moment while they are live. They are designed to be shared to other social channels and they never expire. While some Twitch broadcasters have switched the ability to clip off, the far majority use them as ways to promote themselves off Twitch.
While they do appear on the Twitch homepage, it’s not easily spotted and it feels pretty limited. This feature (born for mobile-phones) is not available there.
The best Twitch Clips routinely pick up millions of views on Twitch from people sharing them. They also see millions of views across YouTube, both compilations and roundups from individual large creators. Reactions to these then pick up millions more.
Reddit (and in particular R/LivestreamFails) is a massive destination for those looking for the best Twitch content, although it’s not always positive… TwitchTracker pulls in the most popular clips per week, month and all-time, although it’s only giving the very top-tier content across the millions of creators on the channel.
We’re all hoping to see the funniest, most entertaining moments when we watch a streamer. Others aren’t even watching it live, because the ‘best moments’ in 30 hours of streaming per week are being put into clips and YouTube compilations and easily watched there.
While Twitch continues to make it easier and easier to create clips and highlights, it is not easy for viewers to find the best clips on Twitch itself unless they open individual channels and somehow find the clip section?
It’s hidden within a profile and a dropdown on desktop.
In 2020, this is not how we view content. Maybe on Facebook in 2015 we did, but now algorithms control the flow of content to us, and they do it better.
That’s why YouTube has over 2 Billion users visiting each month and TikTok went from a cringe-meme to 800 million users in a couple of years.
So, here is my pitch to Twitch executives.
This is how Twitch Clips should be your priority.
What do I propose?
All Twitch clips should live on the app and website as an algorithmically generated and sorted swipeable list of content. This will be personalised in a similar manner to how TikTok’s algorithm works and have a nice fancy button that takes you straight to that creator’s channel on each clip.
It can live at clips.twitch.com on the website and a separate tab in the app.
As the algorithm learns, it will show increasingly more personalised content based on your clip and channel viewing habits alongside the usual engagement metrics (e.g. the more popular the clip is watched, liked and shared, the more people it’ll be shown too).
How does it help creators?
Clips like this would help the discoverability issue for creators too. It’ll be a huge signal for the Twitch homepage algorithm, it’ll learn what content a viewer likes and what creators they would enjoy live.
It’ll open new creators to audiences they would never be able to find in the never-ending scroll within categories and overall be a fantastic user experience for both viewers and creators.
“Clips are so deeply underused as a feature of the platform,” he said. “It’s individual highlights from channels, yet the main driver of clip consumption is usually [notorious subreddit] r/LivestreamFail or the streamer posting a link on Twitter. Meanwhile, people go to YouTube to watch compilations of clips! There’s a clear demand for this highlight content, but it’s a matter of getting the right clips in front of the eyes that will want to see it. I can’t be in a stream every minute of the day. Show me what I missed from the channels I follow, and throw in a few clips from streamers I may be interested in.”Zach Bussey
But won’t this make creators try to create amazing moments for clips rather than an entire 4-hour stream? Maybe. But why is that a bad thing?
I don’t think it will change the way the channel culture currently is, and it’ll allow one of the best features of Twitch to truly stand out and be found by new people.
It’ll help creators grow and it’ll help Twitch grow.
Oh and Twitch? You could put advertising in-between clips similar to how TikTok and Instagram Stories currently does it. I bet Jeff Bezos will be happy then.
Looking to learn more about streaming on Twitch or promoting your channel on social media? Read our in-depth guides here:
Still not sure of the value of Twitch Clips? Here are some of the best ones of all time.
Where would we be without Twitch Clips?
Most of us would have missed this moment from Negaoryx that defined memes for months.
The famous clip of ‘streamer getting scared by kid‘ which literally never gets old.
Or this clip of the musician, T-Pain, welcoming new people to his channel – which has picked up millions of views on stolen clips uploaded to YouTube!
Myth doing the greatest impression of XQC we have ever seen on Among Us.
CharmingJo introducing English viewers to his stream with one of the best voices on the entire website.
Or Mr_ChanChan that literally danced positivity by doing what is now known as the KneeCopter dance (this went to viral on Twitter AND Tiktok multiple times…)
Or the time Jesse Daugherty fell asleep on stream and woke up to 200 people in his chat waiting for him to wake up. That single clip has over 3.8 million views alone.
And the nicest streamer ever (Love u Broxh)
Dear Twitch executives. This is why Twitch Clips should be the future of your platform.
They will benefit every single person who watches content on the platform. It helps new viewers find new content, it increases the amount of time people spend on Twitch and giving users a new way to enjoy the amazing content created by Twitch broadcasters.
For the streamers themselves, it fixes Twitch’s endless discoverability problem, it’s an easy way to bring new viewers to your channel and gives users a better way to know whether they’ll enjoy your content.
And for Twitch; not only does it benefit the people who use your platform, but it could help your advertising revenue. Yes, it’ll cost some money hosting all that content… but that’s the point. You are a community and entertainment platform. And during 2020, it’s what we need most.