Twitch will soon add features that make it easier than ever for streamers to find audiences interested in their content. The livestreaming giant tweeted that it will be making “several big discovery changes” in coming weeks, and revealed that two of those changes include: removing the site’s playlist-like feature “Communities” and giving users the ability to use tags on their streams; and removing the “Creative” and “IRL” categories to replace them with 13 more specific designations.
In a statement, Twitch said that the decision to remove Communities came in part because data showed that less than 3% of stream viewership was coming from the feature.
New tags, on the other hand, will allow users to manually select appropriate descriptors for their streams — but Twitch will also autoapply some tags, like game genres. All tags will be shown alongside the stream’s thumbnail. Users will not be able to create new tags, but they can request that Twitch add a tag to its library.
To that end, Twitch also noted that it will be working with marginalized streamer communities to figure out what tags those communities want available, beginning with the site’s LGBTQ+ contingency. “You will see an LGBTQ+ tag reflected in the list of tags available in September, and we look forward to hearing feedback from streamers on how we can incorporate self-identification into tags,” Twitch said in a statement.
Users will also have increased means of specifying what their livestreams are about through new categories. Twitch will nix the Creative and IRL categories altogether, and will replace them with “Art,” “Hobbies & Crafts,” “Food & Drink,” “Music & Performing Arts,” “Beauty & Body Art,” “Science & Technology,” “Just Chatting,” “Travel & Outdoors,” “Sports & Fitness,” “Tabletop RPGs,” “Special Events,” “Talk Shows & Podcasts,” and “ASMR.” This move will also combine gaming and non-gaming categories into one directory, which is intended to improve visibility for streamers who are making content unrelated to gaming, Twitch said in a separate statement.
All of the changes are set to roll out in mid-September.