TwitchCon: What marketers need to know about the evolution of Twitch
This month in Paris, streaming platform Twitch held TwitchCon, its semi-annual gaming convention. Among the cosplay and World Chase Tag competition (if you know, you know), there were some important lessons for marketers looking to use the platform. Here, Nathan Pillot, Strategic Planner at We Are Social Gaming, has summed up what he learned.
#1 – Mental health and content creator protection
A growing subject on social media, streamers are focusing more on their mental health. In such a demanding role, where creators are exposed live in front of viewers, finding balance has become a priority. When content creation consistency and obligation to create over social channels is too much, streamers need to protect themselves to preserve their integrity and identity.
#2 – Community is power – maintaining the connection
“You’re only as strong as your community”. For creators and for the platform, community and fandom were one of the main focuses of this TwitchCon edition. Connecting people around content, safe places or a shared interest has always been the main competitive advantage of Twitch. Streamers give to the community, but the community also gives to the streamer. Diversification of the platform allows everyone to find their own place and fit in the landscape. The time where Twitch was for the few is not the current reality, and this comes as the result of these fandom’s investment.
# 3 – Making Twitch a welcoming place
Showcasing Twitch as an inclusive and welcoming platform for creators and communities was a huge focus of the convention. Over the two days, conferences about the importance of LGBTQIA+ representation, safe place community gathering and inclusive content creation were everywhere.The creators themselves insist on the necessity to make every Twitch chat a welcoming place for everyone, and to fight, as one, against hate and intolerance. Brands were advised “No more talking, start taking action” if they want to invest in Twitch spaces and content.
#4- Twitch diversification
TwitchCon was obviously a great opportunity to announce new features, too. Moving away from the classic streaming platform, Twitch is investigating vertical video content through stories and video clip feeds. Easing the content creation for streamers beyond just the live moment, they’ve also announced that editing video clips directly from live content will become much more intuitive. Furthermore, encouraging collaboration between creators, the “guest star” feature is being developed again with the ability to mix five video feeds into your own stream. Advertising management and in-stream commercials are being optimised to integrate seamlessly.
#5 – Streamers investing IRL
Over the years, the Twitch sphere has seen multiple and more ambitious IRL events. GP explorer in France, multi-million viewers Ibai events, caritative marathons – more and more, they leave their home set-up to stream on-stage. Multiple talk shows and contests were hosted by famous streamers, providing the community with a new way to perceive those streamers by being able to talk with them face to face.
The platform supports this diversification by creating features that allow more interaction between IRL events, Twitch chat and in-stream content. Twitch is becoming way bigger than gaming and is still on the rise!
#6 – Celebrating wide variety of content
Numerous conference and community meetups showcased the wide variety of content that exists on Twitch, encouraging creators to continue to nurture the platform. Speedrun, tabletop, and music creation were the most noticeable. Offering creators the best tips and tricks, and showcasing performance and best cases, the platform aims to educate the conventional audience to generate more growth in terms of creativity.
#7 Esportainment still growing
TwitchCon also means: Twitch Rivals. During the conference, esport competition was super intense and attracted thousands of viewers. Fall guys, Valorant and League of Legends were the three main titles. This competition showed once again that the esportainment segment popularity is super high and continues to grow. By driving new audiences and involving the fans in a super emotional way, this format showed the power and engagement of fandoms. As we discussed in a previous blog post, Gamefluencer implication in the esport industry is the biggest growth source for the discipline nowadays.
#8 Creators social media ecosystem evolving
Facing a growing competition, content creators need to invest in more than one social platform. Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and TikTok were quoted as the most important for maintaining the connection to their community. Performance on platforms depends on a lot of community behaviours and the game you’re playing. For example, Sims content creators perform really well on TikTok, but lack engagement on Twitter. Aside from reposting stream extracts, creation of original content is considered as super tricky for them. Once again, what they lack is time and management of content and creative process, which can be really time-consuming.
On the live perspective, a lot of content creators decided to start streaming on TikTok to drive the audience towards their Twitch stream, interrupting the infinite time-consuming scroll of the vertical platform. This seems to be the best way to drive growth and get bigger within the Twitch-game today.
Overall, Twitchcon was a big success, and the platform showed once again its will to diversify through new format and content typology, encouraging the growth of what makes its success: the community.