Twitch is changing two of its categories to give streamers “better ways to describe your stream beyond just the game or category you’re streaming.” The changes, due to arrive next month, will primarily affect the ‘IRL’ and ‘Creative’ tabs, and will also see the removal of Twitch Communities. In their place, ten new tabs will arrive, introducing a host of new streaming categories to the service.
Twitch says that the reason for the changes “is to connect you to the viewers who are most interested in what you’re streaming and are most likely to keep coming back to watch you again.” Viewers will now be able to filter within a specific category, as well as across different games from the Browse page.
In a statement, Twitch says that the changes came about because “choosing what to watch gets harder as Twitch gets bigger,” referencing the fact that up to 18,000 Fortnite streams could have been available to viewers at any one time during May this year. Understandably, that’s more than anyone can be expected to browse through, “so we need new ways to help viewers figure out which stream they want to watch.”
Part of that will be the introduction of tags, that will allow streamers to describe their stream, irrespective of the game they might be playing. However, Twitch is also breaking up the Creative and IRL descriptors, allowing for a better definition of what a stream in that category is actually doing.
Art, Hobbies & Crafts, and Beauty & Body Art will all now get dedicated tabs, as will Science & Technology, Travel & Outdoors, and Sports & Fitness. Closer to the more traditionally-gaming end of the spectrum, Tabletop RPGs, Talk Shows & Podcasts, and Special Events (like E3 and TwitchCon) will also get their own tabs. Rounding out the new collection are Music & Performing Arts, and ASMR.
Twitch is aiming to get this update out in mid-September, but acknowledge that that target could change in the coming weeks. The company also says it’ll be working with the community to gather feedback and create new tags.