“IRL” will no longer be a generic category on Twitch.
The company is introducing more than 10 specific categories for streamers who want to broadcast non-gaming entertainment, according to information on Twitch’s public work board.
“With so many streamers on Twitch, we need to give you better ways to describe your stream when you go live,” a description on the site reads. “In mid-September we will remove IRL and Creative as categories and add more than 10 new categories, which will let you better describe the content of your streams.”
Streamers will have to specify exactly what type of non-gaming content they’re streaming. Cooking shows will no longer be labeled “creative,” for example, but will exist under a specific cooking banner. Talk shows will also have their own category, too. The new categories are as follows:
- Art – For all the artists creating paintings, illustrations, animation, comics, photography, and more, whether you’re using digital or traditional methods or techniques.
- Hobbies & Crafts – Use this category when you’re crafting real world objects or working on DIY projects. Includes making costumes, sewing, sculpture, Lego, woodwork, metalwork, and more.
- Food & Drink – From cooking to eating and everything in between, this category is for anything related to the creation, culture, or consumption of food and drinks.
- Music & Performing Arts – Use this category when you’re dancing, singing, composing music, playing an instrument and more.
- Beauty & Body Art – Use this category when you’re streaming makeup, skincare, bodypainting, tattooing, and more.
- Science & Technology – Use this category when you’re streaming activities like software development, game design, science experiments, engineering, or robotics.
- Just Chatting – This category is for conversations between streamers and viewers, like when you’re warming up at the start of your stream, doing Q&As, or live vlogging.
- Travel & Outdoors – Whether you’re exploring a new city or just hanging out in your hometown, this category covers all your walking-and-talking needs.
- Sports & Fitness – From team sports to training solo, this category includes everything you’d do in a gym and more.
- Tabletop RPGs – Finally a place to stream all the tabletop RPGs you love.
- Special Events – This is where you’ll find big events like TwitchCon, E3, and PAX, as well as special announcements from game developers and publishers.
- Talk Shows & Podcasts – This category name gets an update for all the podcasters out there.
- ASMR – A centralized place for ASMR content.
There are a couple of notable entries in the new, categorized IRL sections. ASMR, Sports & Fitness, Just Chatting and Beauty & Body Art are four areas that people should pay attention to. These are areas that have become controversial in the past for a myriad of reasons like overtly sexual streams or vlogging used for harassment, and sparked concern among the Twitch community regarding how streamers were treated. Streamers will no longer all exist under one IRL umbrella. Instead, streamers will splinter off into specialized, designated groups that people are interested in following.
Twitch’s description details the difference this will make for users who want to browse through IRL or creative options.
“These categories will be added to the Browse page, which will be updated to show gaming and non-gaming categories in a single view,” the description reads.
If you have no interest in fitness shows, but want to catch a favorite streamer vlogging or answering questions, this should make it easier to find.
There are some concerns among streamers, however, that Twitch’s new categories may restrict streamers who cast themselves doing a number of things. For example, if someone is cooking on a channel and then moves into a workout, it’s unclear if streamers will have to manually change their content category. It’s also unclear whether or not streamers will face punishments for intentionally or unintentionally mislabeling their content.
“I’m excited for the changes, but I’m glad it’s still up for debate,” one streamer tweeted. “As a viewer, I’m hoping they keep IRL and have these as ‘checkboxes’ when browsing. As an IRL streamer, it’s going to be a pain in the ass jumping between outdoors, food & drink, and just chatting in a stream.”
Polygon has reached out to Twitch for further information.
Article credit: https://www.polygon.com/2018/8/10/17674306/twitch-irl-creative-new-categories