Twitch streamers are speaking out against the broadcasting platform for attempting to promote brands within individual chats. Content creators are slamming the practice, especially since they have no control of removing the adverts from their channel.
One longtime YouTuber and Twitch streamer who goes by ‘The Black Hokage’ noticed a staffer had dropped a message in his Chat. The purpose of the text, sent by ‘newcryka,’ was to have the streamer acknowledge the listed brand with 400 Bits attached to the post.
He immediately took issue with the move: “Yo, are you promoting something?… You got a Twitch staff symbol next to your name, are you promoting sh*t in my Chat?”
After posting the interaction on Twitter, more streamers slammed the apparent unsolicited advertisement from the streaming platform.
I see some new faces accusing me of photoshopping & trying to start drama. I have no reason to lie. Anyone who knows me knows I stay out the way. So here's the vod w/ Twitch staff in my chat trying to trick me into promoting some company with a bit donation during my workout https://t.co/EYBqNG33uO pic.twitter.com/NoqOyyEC6l
— The Black Hokage (@Mr_iKeepitreal) October 7, 2020
“Creators beware! Twitch staff is now going around donating spare change in an attempt to trick you into shouting out brands without proper compensation. Don’t fall for it,” The Black Hokage said.
Twitch partner and viral streamer ‘negaoryx’ responded: “Which is great, because we can’t moderate anything said by Twitch staff in chat, so we can’t even purge it… great…”
There is a function that lets people ‘/Clear’ their channels messaging log, which lets “broadcasters and chat moderators to completely wipe the previous chat history.” This feature doesn’t apply to messages from Twitch staff accounts.
However the means, content creators and the wider Twitch community got an indication that the streaming platform could experience more intrusive marketing campaigns.
What in the hell is this? 😡
— Cohh Carnage (@CohhCarnage) October 7, 2020
Some believe that The Black Hokage’s clip could have been a Twitch advertisement staff member testing out a new form of social engagement tactics meant for branding – and the thought isn’t unfounded.
In early August, an outside company released how its latest marketing scheme made use of Twitch’s donation alerts to get a branded sound bite played on a streamer’s channel. Their video showed multiple instances of a Twitch account surprising streamers by donating $5 to get a brand’s name and current offerings played on their page.
The idea was immediately chastised for its way of engaging in promotion and sponsorship for a company without consulting or locking a paid deal with the individual streamer. However, despite inevitable backlash, advertisers are still trying out new methods of outreach.
The Amazon-owned streaming site has been incorporating more ways to engage audiences with branding promotions and advertisements.
“Twitch video and display media, as well as new Twitch audiences, are now available for inclusion in Amazon Advertising campaigns, and Amazon audiences are available for inclusion in Twitch campaigns,” Amazon wrote. “We’re delighted to share that we are combining Twitch’s hard-to-reach and highly engaged audiences with Amazon Advertising’s integrated full-funnel advertising offering.
Days after Amazon announced it had added Twitch to its Amazon Advertising portfolio, the streaming site announced it was testing out mid-roll ads for channels. This too was vehemently criticized by everyone from Twitch streamers to viewers, and the idea was later abandoned.
A feature that hasn’t gone back to the drawing board has been the picture-in-picture mode for ads that minimizes and mutes the main stream while playing a fullscreened promotion. This too was received with angst from viewers.
Twitch’s latest attempt at finding a more engaging way to introduce ads to its reported 17.5 million daily users has, again, created ire from its partnered content creators.
As Amazon and Twitch continue to create advertising solutions for its highly-valuable and impressionable audiences, the platform’s streamers will be on the lookout for more marketing tactics that look to benefit off of their communities.