So, it hasn’t been too long since they reworked it last time, adding a vast variety of tags to their platform but now, it seems that selected creators received access to their new custom-tag system!
What are Tags?
For anyone that isn’t in the know: Tags are a way for creators to describe their channel utilizing a system where people can actively look for specific streams tagged with a specific tag, i.e. “Family Friendly”, “English” or “LGBTQIA+”. Up to now (and thanks to the previous update to the system), these tags included Nationalities, Heritage, Languages, Sexuality, and Gender Identity, as well as many category-related tags (like “Hardcore”, “Permadeath”, “Digital Art”, “Illustration”, and more.
How does the new system work?
The new system works much more like how tags work on YouTube, Twitter or Instagram. Think of hashtags! – Twitch may even experiment with “Trending Tags” in the future if this update is well-received!
Streamers now add custom words to their tags to describe their own stream. This is both a blessing and a curse though, something I’ll go into later. Hence, Twitch doubled the number of tags you can add to your stream, increasing the limit from 5 to 10!
Why make the change?
Previously, tags were set and adding a new tag would add a lot of work to the system for Twitch since any given tag needs to be translated into different languages and coded to be displayed properly on any device.
Customizable tags won’t get translated to every user but you can add whatever you want here. As an example, I just wanted to test if I can go with stuff like “Lich”, “IndieGames” and “Undead” on my stream… It works.
Also, Spaces and special symbols are not allowed, so I have to go with “LGBTQIAPlus”, “SafeSpace” and “HeThey” as opposed to other options.
Why do I like this update?
I believe that this is a step in the direction since more customizability means that people can add their pronouns to this without having to rely on Twitch adding those first. The same goes for other tags that may be specific to you and your stream (“NoCam”, “Emote Commission”, “Quiet”, etc.) but that Twitch now doesn’t have to be specifically created.
A great benefit here is that this solves a problem that Twitch had with categories for ages now. Pokémon RomHacks, Pokémon Challenges, and old Pokémon Playthroughs are often just being streamed into the latest category – which is technically against the Terms of Service… but people justify it by saying that “everyone is doing it”.
What would fix this would be to have a specific “Pokémon” Umbrella category that then has sub-categories like “Sun”, “Moon”, etc. – This would also solve the issue of discoverability being an issue because Sun and Moon would be split up into two different game categories.
With the Custom Tags, you can add tags like “Pokémon”, “FireRed”, “Nutzlocke”, “ShinyOnly”, “Challenge”, etc. to your stream to effectively fix the issue of people searching for those things in the wrong place. I’d imagine that “Nutzlocke” will be a commonly used tag here, for instance, and I’d imagine that “Pokémon” or other franchise-themed custom tags will be quite common as well, helping with some of the problems mentioned above.
I’m not 100% happy with the system.
After all, the LGBTQIA+ tag always worked for me to find people, and my stream would often be found through it. With the new system, some people may just write LGBTQ, LGBT, LGBTQIA and they suddenly won’t find me because of a “Plus”. I’d love it if they kept some set tags that you can still use from the previous system… but also allow custom hashtags.
For my stream, I’ll probably constantly keep “Lich”, “Undead”, “IndieGames”, “SafeSpace” as tags. I may add “Review” or “Reviewkey” or “Blogging” as a tag depending on the stream.
In the example up there, I used “LurkerFriendly”, “Comfy” and “Chatty” as well but I just added those as examples for shorter and longer tags.
I’d imagine that I’ll also use “NoCam” and “Community” or something. I’ll see what others do.
Either way, while I’m not perfectly satisfied, I’m more than happy that I can have an Undead tag now. This is amazing.
What do you think about the new system? Are you concerned about discoverability on Twitch or do you think that this will improve things? Do you think that tags not being translated will be a big issue? Let me know!