Tag Archives: Tech

Twitch Doesn’t Only Want to Play Games

Now that live video is mainstream, where does that leave the Amazon property?

Amazon was never supposed to buy Twitch. Two summers ago, as rumors swirled that the livestreaming video site was set to be acquired, tech bloggers declared that Google was the secret suitor. The pairing made sense – Google owns the world’s biggest video site, YouTube, and Twitch had quickly managed to become the largest livestreaming site in the U.S. by tapping into the burgeoning pastime of watching other people play video games. Continue reading Twitch Doesn’t Only Want to Play Games

Twitch Talks Community, Support, and Women in Tech at Bay Area Girl Geek Dinner

Here’s something you already knew: things still suck for women working in tech. That happens to go double for women working in the games industry. Such was the topic at this panel discussion, held at Twitch’s San Francisco headquarters, where their entire dining area (which is huge, even by tech office standards) was packed to the brim with women interested in changing tech’s toxic status quo.

This panel at Twitch was part of an independent event series called “Bay Area Girl Geek Dinners,” which aims to bring together women who work in tech. Representatives of Twitch sat on this particular panel, and shared some insight about their working environment, how they got to where they are, and the impact online streaming has on forming support communities.

When it comes to being a prominent figure in gaming or tech, there’s a significant pressure around being a representative for all women. While you and I both know that women are not a monolith, that’s an idea that has yet to disseminate across the majority of the internet.

Twitch Programming Manager and broadcast partner Anna Prosser Robinson touched on this idea when she shared a personal story about a time in which she wanted to give up on streaming altogether. She said she remembered hitting a rough patch and thinking, “I have to hold the torch for everybody else.” She also mentioned there’s no easy answer to how to handle conflicts and incidents of harassment, but one key thing has kept her going through all of the junk: her support network. Sometimes all it takes is a simple reminder from a friend or loved one to tell you “we need you, we want you here,” she said.

But how does one find a support network? For Malina Das, it took venturing out into real life to find a community. Finding an in-person community takes away from the anonymity of the internet that so often lends to people’s ability to harass and abuse. Sometimes, it’s just harder to be a troll when you can put a name to a face. She also mentions the Team Fortress 2 community as it is now. According to her, it’s grown since its inception way back in 2007. While there are still pockets of terrible places, on the whole, it’s a community that’s come a long way.

Robinson also shared some immensely helpful advice on how to find support. She mentioned that it’s often best to find smaller communities, places where one can speak to other people and, in turn, get to know them better. But to find smaller communities, she suggests looking at larger communities, like large groups on Facebook that are made up of mostly women in tech. Joining one of those groups then finding the gamers within it is one way of forming a smaller, more tightly knit community.

In a lot of ways, the dinner reflected Robinson’s advice: a large community comprised of women in tech, distilled into the smaller ad hoc community present there that night. It’s my belief that these meetups go beyond simple networking; they’re opportunities for women to find support for themselves outside of who they might typically meet at any other tech mixer.

Twitch, in particular, is an intriguing case study in how to grow communities. If the panelists involved in the discussion that night are indicative of the types of attitude shared amongst all Twitch employees–and this definitely seems to be the case–then Twitch might one day stand as one of the better places for women to gather and find community.

Don’t get me wrong: Twitch has had its share of problems and missteps, but so it goes for most large internet websites. It’s quite evident that they’re doing their best to improve things, which, to put it frankly, is more than one can say about Facebook or Twitter. And like I said: if this panel is representative of the sentiments across all of Twitch’s employees, then I’ve got a pretty good feeling about its future as a place for people to truly gather.

As for the Bay Area Geek Girl Dinners? If nothing else, this dinner and its incredibly healthy attendance represents the growing number of women who are determined to find ways of changing the narrative around working in tech. It’s important that one doesn’t make the mistake of thinking that things are the way they are for lack of trying, because there are plenty of people who are trying their best to make a positive change in their industries.

What I’m hoping for in the future is a shift in discussion topics–that we don’t have to talk about the harassment and abuse that comes with being a woman on the internet, that these issues become a thing of the past. But we’re far from that point, and it’s at meetups and dinners and groups like these where the ideas and seeds for change get planted.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m so glad that this group exists, as it helps renew my excitement and hopes for the future.

Originally posted on The Mary Sue

BOOM. More Transcode Servers.

We are happy to announce we’ve added significant server capacity to our transcode infrastructure.

To provide the best possible viewing experience, Twitch provides transcodes – High, Medium, and Low quality options – on our most popular channels. Without these options, every viewer would be forced to watch the exact same video stream. And because download speeds vary by ISP and individual, broadcasters using a single stream must choose between a stream which is too bandwidth intensive for everyone to watch smoothly, or broadcast at a low bitrate.

Continue reading BOOM. More Transcode Servers.

We’ve Updated Our Content Appeals Process

Today, we’re releasing a new way to submit an appeal if you believe one of your videos has been incorrectly flagged by our Audio Recognition system.

The new functionality will initially be available to all members of the Twitch Partner Program and non-partner broadcasters whose videos are in HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) format, which is roughly 25% of non-partner broadcasters. We are in the process of storing all newly created VODs in HLS format rather than Flash Video (FLV) format. (How can you tell if your videos are in HLS or FLV? Check the VOD URL. HLS VODs will have /v/ in the URL; FLV will have /b/.)

For those broadcasters not included in the introductory rollout, the Audio Recognition appeal process will function as it currently does today. All broadcasters will still be able to appeal a muted VOD regardless of format.


One major addition to the appeals process is the upfront education around what can and cannot be appealed, which is based on common content appeals to date. We want to make sure our broadcasters are educated as to what kind of audio is allowed/not allowed and what you should appeal.

For now, here’s a sneak peek at how the new Audio Recognition appeal process will work. When you think your VOD has been incorrectly flagged:

1. Click on the video you’d like to appeal. Videos with muted audio have a red muted speaker icon in the upper right corner of the thumbnail.

Click on the video you'd like to appeal.
2. Find the audio track(s) you would like to appeal.

Find the audio track(s) you'd like to appeal.
3. Choose the reason for the appeal.

Choose the reason for the appeal.
4. Confirm the audio you’ve selected to appeal.

Confirm the audio you've selected to appeal.
5. Attest that you have the right to use the flagged audio and submit.

Attest that you have the right to use the flagged audio and submit.
6. Check your submission.

Check your submission.
You can check the status of your appeal by clicking on the appealed video where you will see either Unmuted or Denied. When your video has been reviewed, you’ll receive an email with the outcome of your appeal.

Email status update.
If you already have a muted video in appeal, you should not submit a new appeal. We will respond to your original appeal (and all appeals) in the order in which it was received.

Stay tuned for updates as we roll this new process out to everyone over the coming months.

The post We’ve Updated Our Content Appeals Process appeared first on The Official Twitch Blog.

Watch and Chat in Full Screen with Theater Mode

Introducing Theater Mode – a new way to maximize your viewing experience on Twitch. Theater Mode lets you full-screen the video player without losing chat and features an easy-on-the-eyes black background.


Theater Mode: Full Screen
To launch Theater Mode, click the Theater Mode button below the video player.

Theater Mode
There are three ways to exit Theater Mode:

  1. Click Exit Theater Mode in the top left corner.
  2. Press ESC while in Theater Mode.
  3. Toggle out of Theater Mode using ALT-T.

Find live channels to watch in Theater Mode now!

But wait! There’s more!

We’ve also added the option to enable Dark Mode. Turn on Dark Mode for a black chat background when you aren’t in Theater Mode.

Dark Mode

The post Watch and Chat in Full Screen with Theater Mode appeared first on The Official Twitch Blog.