Posts Tagged: Twitch

Samsung Gaming Hub goes live today with Twitch, Xbox Game Pass and more

The Samsung Gaming Hub is live now on 2022 Samsung smart TVs and smart monitors, and it's adding two services from Amazon to its game-streaming lineup: Twitch and Luna. Twitch is available today, while Luna is coming soon. Gamers will also be able to access Xbox Game Pass now, as well as apps for NVIDIA GeForce NOW, Google Stadia and Utomik in the same designated area on their TVs. The company plans to release details about the gaming hub's rollout to earlier Samsung smart TV models at a later date, a Samsung spokesperson confirmed to Engadget. 

For those who are unfamiliar with the Samsung Gaming Hub, it essentially offers players a way to access major cloud gaming services on their smart TV using only their Bluetooth controller, no console needed. Apps for both Spotify and YouTube are also included in the gaming hub.

Samsung says it plans on delivering even more gaming-focused content in the future, including new partnerships. “With expanding partnerships across leading game streaming services and expert curated recommendations, players will be able to easily browse and discover games from the widest selection available, regardless of platform,” said Won-Jin Lee, president of Samsung’s Service Business Team.

Amazon’s Luna cloud gaming service has only been available to the general public since March, and is already available on Fire TVs. Its partnership with Samsung could give the nascent gaming service an easy way to reach people who have never used it in their homes. Twitch (which is owned by Amazon) once had an app for Samsung smart TVs, but it was retired in 2019. The platform’s return to the newest Samsung smart TVs will be happy news for streamers and their fans.

It seems natural for Samsung to further embrace the gaming community, given that smart TVs have become close to a necessity in gaming. Last year Microsoft announced that it would begin working with global TV manufacturers to directly integrate Xbox into smart TVs via an Xbox with Game Pass app. The idea of an “all-in-one” destination for all your cloud-based and console games is certainly convenient to some, and may help gamers avoid the time and hassle of switching between modes.

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

Twitch opens up ads program to more streamers and increases payout

More Twitch streamers will find invites to join the platform's Ads Incentive Program now that the company is opening up the opportunity to welcome "more… Partners than ever." In addition, Twitch will stop paying streamers in the program using a fixed CPM structure — instead, it will use a percentage-based revenue share model to increase ad payouts. When the streaming service launched the program in February, it promised creators a flat payout every month based on the hours they stream and the ads they serve per hour. A user who agrees to stream 40 hours per month, for instance, will earn $ 300 if they run 3 minutes of ads per hour.

The idea behind the flat payout is to eliminate the guesswork for creators who'd rather know how much they'll earn for the month. With this new model, though, creators will get 55 percent of the revenue from every ad that runs on their stream. Twitch says that represents a 50 to 150 percent increase in ad pay rate for the vast majority of creators on the platform.

While this rollout is meant to bring more Partners, who need to meet a pretty demanding set of requirements, into the fold, smaller streamers will also be able to benefit from the higher revenue structure soon. Starting in August, qualifying affiliates can also earn more money from the 55/45 split by agreeing to run 3 minutes of ads per hour and activating the setting in their Ads Manager. Further, an affiliate who opts in will be able to stream free of pre-roll ads, or those ads that play as soon as a stream begins for a user. 

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

Buffalo gunman clips proliferate on social media following Twitch removal

Following Saturday’s horrific mass shooting in Buffalo, online platforms like Facebook, TikTok and Twitter are seemingly struggling to prevent various versions of the gunman’s livestream from proliferating on their platforms. The shooter, an 18-year-old white male, attempted to broadcast the entire attack on Twitch using a GoPro Hero 7 Black. The company told Engadget it took his channel down within two minutes of the violence starting.

“Twitch has a zero-tolerance policy against violence of any kind and works swiftly to respond to all incidents,” a Twitch spokesperson said. “The user has been indefinitely suspended from our service, and we are taking all appropriate action, including monitoring for any accounts rebroadcasting this content.”

Despite Twitch’s response, that hasn’t stopped the video from proliferating online. According to New York Times reporter Ryan Mac, one link to a version of the livestream someone used a screen recorder to preserve saw 43,000 interactions. Another Twitter user said they found a Facebook post linking to the video that had been viewed more than 1.8 million times, with an accompanying screenshot suggesting the post did not trigger Facebook’s automated safeguards. A Meta spokesperson told Mac the video violates Facebook’s Community Standards.

Responding to Mac’s Twitter thread, Washington Post reporter Taylor Lorenz said she found TikTok videos that share accounts and terms Twitter users can search for to view the full video. “Clear the vid is all over Twitter,” she said. We’ve reached out to the company for comment.

Preventing terrorists and violent extremists from disseminating their content online is one of the things Facebook, Twitter and a handful of other tech companies said they would do following the 2019 shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand. In the first 24 hours after that attack, Meta said it removed 1.5 million videos, but clips of the shooting continued to circulate on the platform for more than a month after the event. The company blamed its automated moderation tools for the failure, noting they had a hard time detecting the footage because of the way in which it was filmed. "This was a first-person shooter video, one where we have someone using a GoPro helmet with a camera focused from their perspective of shooting," Neil Potts, Facebook’s public policy director, told British lawmakers at the time.

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

Twitch will launch an improved reporting and appeals process in 2022

Following a year that saw it struggle to shield its users from abuse and harassment, Twitch has published a retrospective of its 2021 safety efforts that includes a look forward to how the company plans to tackle the issue in 2022. Specifically, Angela Hession, Twitch’s vice president of global trust and safety, says the company will update its user reporting and appeals process. 

It also plans to upgrade its Suspicious User Detection feature. The AI tool, which the company launched at the end of last year, automatically flags individuals it believes may be repeat ban dodgers. In 2022, Twitch has updates planned around how streamers can use information from that tool. As the company has indicated previously, it also plans to update its sexual content policy to clarify various aspects of it. Twitch simultaneously intends to share more and “better” educational content across its safety center and other areas.

Twitch spent much of the latter half of 2021 trying to stop automated "hate raid" harassment campaigns. The attacks saw malicious individuals use thousands of bots to spam channels with hateful language, and they frequently targeted streamers from marginalized communities. In September, the company sued CruzzControl and CreatineOverdose, two of the more prolific individuals involved in those campaigns. 

"We’ll likely never be able to eliminate [hate raids] entirely," Hession said. However, she claims Twitch "significantly" cut down on the number of bots on its platform through some of its actions in 2021. In 2022, it looks to continue that work through the improvements it announced today. 

If the company’s safety roadmap feels light on details, Hession says that’s out of necessity. “The honest and unfortunate reality is that we can't always be specific because bad actors can and have used that transparency to attempt to thwart our efforts,” she said. 

At the same time, the executive acknowledged Twitch needs to do a better job of communicating what it’s doing to make people feel safe on its platform. It’s easy to see why the company would say that. When it felt like the hate raids that were occurring on Twitch couldn’t get any worse, many creators banded together to protest the lack of action they saw from the company.

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

Twitch lets streamers require verification before viewers can chat

Twitch might have another way to deter "hate raids" and similar abuse: make it impractical to create a troll account. The livestreaming service has introduced an option that lets streamers and moderators require one-time phone or email verification for chatters. Broadcasters can either require it for everyone or set exemptions based on account age, follow duration or status. A streamer can require verification only for first-timers, for example, or waive the requirement for subscribers and VIPs.

The company will allow as many as five accounts to verify through one phone number for the sake of businesses. However, trolls can't rely on this to evade bans. Twitch will ban every account linked to a phone number if one of them faces a ban, whether it's one channel or across the entire service. You also can't use VOIP or landline numbers

Twitch said it would gauge the impact of verification after launch. It also teased plans for another tool to fight ban evasion in the "coming months."

This might not spook the most determined harassers. They may create new email addresses or borrow phone numbers. It might reduce the dependence on moderators to curb bad behavior, however, and could discourage 'casual' harassment from those who were previously unafraid to lose their accounts. Don't be surprised if you see fewer hit-and-run incidents the next time you're watching a stream.

Engadget is a web magazine with obsessive daily coverage of everything new in gadgets and consumer electronics

Twitch plans streaming GlitchCon event for November 14th

With TwitchCon cancelled due to the pandemic, Twitch said it would find ways to “join forces in an alternate dimension” and now it has. The streaming video service posted a tweet with a quick video preview and the message “Because no fun was ever had…
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Twitch adds a news and events channel just in time for Summer Game Fest

Twitch has created a new home for gaming-related news. Dubbed Twitch Gaming, the company says the channel will feature game reveals, developer interviews and Twitch drops, with the platform's streamers presenting the content. One of the first things…
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Amazon’s multiplayer Pac-Man game is made for Twitch streaming

Amazon Games showed it’s a serious competitor with the new shooter Crucible and has an MMO on the way, but its next game is the one that makes the most sense for Twitch streaming. That’s because Pac-Man Live Studio is not just a variant of the arcade…
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Twitch nixes Communities, adds tags to improve content discovery

Video game streaming service Twitch launched Communities in February of last year. These were ostensibly hub page for specific games or topics that members could create to help people find content. Now the company will shut these pages down mid-Septe…
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Twitch Creator Camp teaches the fundamentals of livestreaming

It's easy to start streaming on a service like Twitch, but there's a ton of work involved in creating a production that will reel in the viewers, whether it's mastering your audio and lighting setups or fostering a community. Where do you turn for gu…
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New Twitch tools help you become a pro streamer

Many Twitch streamers dream of turning pro, but getting there is a fuzzy process. How do you know you've 'made it' and can apply to become an affiliate or partner? And how do you make a big deal out of staple events like channel raids and new viewe…
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Twitch toys with the idea of chat-controlled TV shows

It sounds like Twitch doesn't want its new sneaker show to be its only stab at interactive programming. In the eyes of chief operating officer Kevin Lin, the ideal TV experience on the platform would be one where the story changes from one episode to…
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Twitch comments for pre-recorded videos are like a slow chatroom

If we've learned anything from experiments like Twitch Plays Pokemon, it's that a large part of the streaming site's success lies on the enthusiasm of its community. Twitch viewers don't just watch streams, they participate by flooding their favorite…
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Twitch now makes highlight clips on any channel

Twitch has so far been limiting its Clips sharing feature to partnered channels, but no longer: as of now, you can create those bite-sized highlights on any channel. If a friend pulls off a slick move during a live stream, you can share it just as ea…
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