Hosting is one of the most important ways small streamers can see growth in their channel. But with one small change, Twitch may have completely ruined the auto host feature.
In the meta of Twitch streaming, one of the best ways large streamers can help smaller personalities is by hosting them. The auto host feature, long a way for streamers to support their friends and community members, was one of the best ways of doing this. By enabling a shortlist of auto-hosted streamers, big channels could direct views to others while they weren’t online themselves.
However, a change in how auto-hosting works may have just killed off the hosting meta completely. Previously, if a stream was left to auto-host, it would show as ‘live’ on the Twitch feed. This would automatically give viewers to the hosted channel. Under the new change, implemented in recent weeks, auto-hosted channels will no longer show as live.
As a result, the very point of hosting may have been ruined. And streamers on the platform aren’t happy. They’ve taken to Twitter on mass to complain about the change and how it threatens to affect small streamers.
Twitch rejects efforts of creators to reverse the autohost decision
Content creators BetweenTwoGays spoke out against the changes recently on Twitter, in an attempt to get the hosting change reverted, only to note it had almost immediately been rejected.
The couple raised their concerns on Twitch’s User Voice platform on September 7th. Reportedly a place for creators to submit recommendations to improve the platform, Twitch’s spokesperson quickly responded with a definitive answer: No.
“Auto-hosts in live view specifically were found to be confusing for new viewers, and did not result in viewers sticking around to watch the channel," Twitch said in their post. "We made this change to reflect viewer habits, and ultimately to prioritize manual hosts that see significantly improved discoverability.”
As described in the post, manual hosting will allegedly still have the same functionality. Unfortunately, comments below Twitch’s response seemingly indicated that manual hosts have also been affected. User GamingHuskies described how their efforts at hosting still hadn’t put marked their channel as live.
Twitch's growing pains
The negative change is just another black mark on Twitch in a period where they could do with all the good PR they can get. The platform recently saw the exodus of some of its most prolific personalities. Benjamin “Dr. Lupo” Lupo, CouRage JD, and Timthetatman all migrated to YouTube in the past few weeks.
Beyond that, the #ADayOffTwitch movement has brought attention to some of the most negative aspects of the site. In response to numerous hate raids, many users and streamers on the site took a day off on September 1st, only to return to having the site's functionality impacted.
Raids and hosts have been a cornerstone of Twitch and how small streamers build their community. However, with raids now repurposed for hateful means, and auto host changed for the worse, Twitch seems like a much less desirable place for streamers.