Twitch is finally rolling out a Discovery Feed, after years of complaints from its creators about the lack of growth opportunities for smaller streamers.
The company announced the Discovery Feed, along with a slew of other new features, during the weekend opening ceremony at TwitchCon Paris. The new features revolve around supporting short-form video content — although the platform’s bread and butter is livestreaming, most creators depend on promoting their content on YouTube Shorts and TikTok to drive viewers to their Twitch channel.
The Discovery Feed will be a scrollable vertical feed in the Twitch app that, like TikTok, algorithmically serves users clips from creators’ streams even when they aren’t live. Unlike TikTok and other short-form video platforms, Twitch made it clear that it isn’t prioritizing bite-sized content over streaming.
“Because Twitch is all about live, interactive channels, it’s not our goal for viewers to spend hours in a Clips feed,” the company said in a blog post. “Our investment in Clips is to help viewers discover your channel so they join you and your community when you stream.”
The Discover Feed will launch in the fall, Twitch said, and until then, the company will run “limited versions” of the feature to test its algorithms.
The shift toward short-form video also includes new editing features that will allow creators to natively edit clips from their streams into a vertical format. Twitch will now support direct exports to YouTube, and starting in August, will allow users to directly export clips to TikTok. The clip editor will also be available on mobile.
Being able to share content with “minimal effort” is a “win for all streamers,” Twitch said.
And like nearly every other major social platform, Twitch is launching stories in October. Stories will appear on the Following page of Twitch’s mobile app, and creators can set their stories to be publicly viewable or exclusive to paying subscribers. Stories must adhere to Twitch’s Community Guidelines, and will be moderated by automated “text and image scanning technology.”
“The stories format is well understood — ephemeral clips, pictures, text updates, polls,” Twitch said. “What’s exciting about Twitch stories is your ability to reach all your Twitch followers or to share with subscribers only.”
The company is also shifting its approach to ad breaks, which have been a point of contention between the platform and its users. Although streamers have been able to see countdown timers for ad breaks on their end, many have complained that ads interrupt their content without enough warning.
Starting this month, streamers will be able to turn on a chat countdown timer to have more of a heads-up for ad breaks. The countdown timer allows streamers to “snooze or pull ahead,” and gives them the chance to “make the right calls” for their community.
Under Guest Star, the feature that allows streamers to collaborate with each other, creators will be able to invite guests onto their channels and stream simultaneously. The “streaming together” feature, which will begin rolling out for a “select number of channels” in August, lets up to five creators stream together, while all appearing live on their own channels. The feature will be available to everyone over the next few months, regardless of Partner or Affiliate status, so that streamers at any level have the opportunity to gain engagement.
“Twitch, the service as it was five years ago, would not be able to support our community today, and the Twitch of today will not meet the needs of the Twitch community five years from now,” Twitch CEO Dan Clancy said during the TwitchCon Paris opening ceremony. “So we need to keep building.”