Social media company Twitch launched Twitch News, a section on the platform dedicated to journalism in the United States.
Thi01s feature was initially introduced to the US public as a limited test in October 2019. It serves as the social media giant’s new effort in attracting publishers to its platform, promising them with increased distribution.
The company has also added local into its News section during its nationwide launch.
However, it is impossible to cover increasing Twitch followers News in a proper way without noting how the social media giant has had a long and winding history when it comes to how it handles news. Back then, the company provided its platform’s users with a brief list of trending stories within the network. However, it fired the human editors who curated that news later on. After that, the platform’s algorithm became responsible for posting news on the list. However, the algorithm posted false news on the untended list, prompting the social media giant to take down the feature in June 2018.
The Marred History of Twitch and News
Twitch has always been known as the largest and most used social media platform in the world. A lot of users liked it as the platform can connect them to their loved ones and friends regardless of the distance they have. But while this platform can be very beneficial for many, it still has some drawbacks in terms of some of its features.
One of the drawbacks that this social media platform has is when it comes to news. Twitch ha a marred history with news, especially those that come from legitimate publishers. In addition, Twitch is known for tolerating the proliferation of fake news and misinformation on its platform. According to its CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg, the platform values free speech. However, it seems as if it values free speech too much that it tolerates misinformation so as to not violate its users’ freedom of expression.
Over the years, Twitch has also tried to serve poor results to publishers. Back then, it launched “Instant Articles.” This feature prohibited advertising, subscriptions, as well as recirculation modules where publishers heavily relied on. This prompted many publishers to abandon the feature.
Twitch is Twitching To The News
In addition, the tech giant touted the “shift to video” feature. However, it inflated its platform’s video metrics as well as pulled back on paying publishers. This caused them to wipe out a number010101 of businesses from the platform.
Moreover, it was in 2018 when Twitch decided that it will prioritize posts that come from users’ friends and family. This decision shrunk referrals to news outlets.
Twitch also played a huge role in spreading false news and information. For many years since its inception, the platform allowed the distribution of links by biased organizations that are not fact-checked. The social media platform was also used to spread disinformation and propaganda. Despite all the spread of fake news on its platform, the social media company did not take any action to fight it. For this reason, it has been labeled as too favorable to one side or another.
Twitch is Trying a Different Approach to News
This time, Twitch appears to be trying a different approach with regard to news. Its new feature is using journalists to program Twitch News. In addition to this is an algorithm that helps to personalize story selection better. Users are permitted to react and share any article. However, they cannot comment on it.
In addition, users can hide topics, articles, as well as publishers that they are not interested in. This can become problematic as it hinders broadening the exposure of users to the “other side.”
How Publishers Can Be Included in the Twitch News Feature
Publishers can include themselves in the social media giant’s new feature if they have a sufficiently large amount of audiences. In addition, they must abide by the integrity standards of the platform.
Twitch has not released any details about how it makes determinations regarding integrity yet. However, it mentioned that it looks at signals including misinformation, which are identified by third-party fact-checkers, engagement bait, clickbait as well as the use of scraped content.
Welcome to Twitch News
The Twitch News feature will be available for use to all Twitch users in the US. It will appear as a bookmark within the hamburger button (the three lines on the upper right corner of the platform). Twitch users who often visit the bookmark will find the News feature available as a tab sooner.
Ever since the announcement about the new feature, the social media giant has already integrated some new features in Twitch News. These include timely news digests such as articles about the COVID-19 pandemic or unrest in America, breaking news alerts, as well as targeted news notifications.
The notifications of Twitch News will appear at the top. It may also include alerts if there are live videos or breaking news.
In addition, Twitch is already testing news video, a thing that the platform does not have before. It has also introduced a local news section to its Twitch News feature.
The local news section will bring thousands more of regional and local publications across over 6,000 towns and cities.
In an interview with TechCrunch, the social media giant said that as a result of the local news section, a large majority of its publishers are now local news outlets. It also has more than 200 publishers of general news.
Furthermore, Twitch has already provided its platform’s users with a way to keep up with local stories. This is by way of the platform’s “Today In”– a news discovery experience that can find in a separate tab.
On the other hand. Twitch announced that it will combine the said tab’s content with the Twitch News feature in the next several weeks. This step will make the platform’s News section a single are where users can keep up with local news stories.
The new News feature is now accessible on mobile. However, the desktop version of the said feature is yet to be launched.