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As the Twitch community grows, we want to make it easy for anyone to discover streamers they’ll love. In July, we added personalized recommendations to the homepage based on viewers’ interests to help everyone find new channels to watch and follow. Now, it’s time for the next step.
Today we’re releasing Tags, which are a new way for streamers to describe their live stream in more detail, as well as new Categories that replace and expand on IRL and Creative to make non-gaming streams easier to find. Along with these changes, we’re discontinuing the Communities feature. We shared this update with the streamer community in August, and these new features will begin rolling out on twitch.tv today, with mobile coming later this year. Let’s jump in to the details.
Tags: When you visit the Browse directory to find a new stream, you’ll now see a new option to use Tags when filtering results for Categories or Live Channels. Filtering by Tags can help you narrow in on a specific genre of game, but, for example, you can also be as specific as ‘Hero: Ana’ or ‘Competitive’ if you want to narrow down your options when browsing Overwatch streams.
Like a stream’s title, Tags are set by the streamer who can add as many as five tags to a stream directly from the Live Dashboard. These Tags will appear alongside the video thumbnail, stream title, and the game or category anytime a video is seen on Twitch. To learn more about how to apply tags, visit here.
Tags will also help us recommend streams based on their past viewing. For example, someone who has watched a lot of streams tagged as ‘Competitive’ may see recommendations for more streams using that Tag.
New Categories: The Creative and IRL categories have exploded in growth since they were introduced in 2015 and 2016, respectively. We’ve heard from many viewers that these categories have such a wide variety of content that it’s difficult for them to find streamers around the topics they’re interested in. Starting today, we’re replacing IRL and Creative with 10 new categories designed to help viewers find streamers around things they love from Art, to Science & Technology, to Talk Shows and Podcasts, and beyond. These new Categories will appear in the Browse directory, which shows gaming and non-gaming in a single view as well as in search results.
Streamers who previously streamed under IRL or Creative will need to select a new category when they broadcast in order to appear in the Browse directory and in search results. To learn more about the categories streamers can choose, please visit the Discovery Updates Site.
We know that introducing Tags, replacing IRL and Creative with new Categories, and discontinuing Communities impacts streamers and their workflow. We’ve received a lot of feedback since we announced these changes in early August. Based on those conversations, we’ve broadened the Tags available in this first release, included descriptions with Tags to make them clearer for streamers, and renamed the ”Hobbies & Crafts” category to “Makers & Crafting” to better reflect our professional makers. We also recognize that streamers were using our Communities feature to find others who shared their identity and interests, and we are working with those communities to build solutions for them.
Our plan is to continue to adapt these tools to ensure that Tags and Categories work for everyone on Twitch. If you have feedback for us, please let us know here. We’re continuing to invest in new ways to improve discovery, and if you want to follow along, visit the Discovery Updates Site.