Once again, Twitch appears to be introducing new changes to the platform that streamers are not pleased with. The latest, as detailed on its Help page, states that the Twitch “/host” chat command, better known as host mode, will be removed on October 3, 2022. And the majority of streamers appear to be dissatisfied with the change.
When a streamer goes offline, they can host another stream for their viewers to watch. Known as hosting, or host mode, it essentially lets streamers host another stream via their channel page. It’s a feature that many large streamers or groups use to show support and network with other streamers. Twitch, on the other hand, no longer finds the feature useful.
Twitch’s justification for this was that the host mode doesn’t match the expectations viewers expect when they come to Twitch. In that, they mean by interacting with channels. Or as Twitch puts it, “Viewers want to interact with a streamer when they’re live and host mode blocks this from happening,”. Well, some streamers stand by this, other prevalent ones who use host mode often, are on opposing ends.
— Zach Bussey (@zachbussey) September 6, 2022
What’s the Substitute?
To combat the removal of host mode, Twitch is instead letting streamers support one another with a new shoutout feature. By typing, “/shoutout [channel]”, in the streams chatbox, streamers can share a follow button so that viewers can follow without leaving your stream. If the streamer has set up their stream schedule, it will also highlight their next scheduled stream. However, many early streamers don’t have a schedule because evading regular life in pursuit of streaming isn’t a simple transition to which you can easily bind a schedule too.
Instead of hosting a stream, another option has been suggested: use Twitch’s raid feature. At the end of the stream, this simply redirects all viewers from one channel to another. However, this feature is rarely used to support friends or streamers with whom the host is also in touch. Most of the time, it’s a random streamer who neither the viewers nor the host knows much about, which clearly results in viewers abandoning ship quickly. As a result, the friendliness and support of host mode is a difficult loss for streamers who rely on the efforts of others to help them grow their audience.