Twitch dropping IRL categorization for more accurate, descriptive labels

Content-allowed hasn't changed, just how it's labeled.

Image via Twitch

Twitch is no longer allowing its users to use the “IRL” label.

Instead, the live-streaming company is offering up a whole bunch of new, specific categories for streamers to choose from. Twitch isn’t changing what’s acceptable content on the service, but instead just making tags a bit more accurate. The company found IRL and Creative to be a bit too broad, it said in a post to its public Trello board.

These are the new categories, straight from Twitch:

  • Art – For all the artists creating paintings, illustrations, animation, comics, photography, and more, whether you’re using digital or traditional methods or techniques.
  • Makers and Crafting – 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. (A big thank you to the community for helping us improve this category name!)
  • 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.

“Choosing what to watch gets harder as Twitch gets bigger,” a representative wrote on the notice. “We can’t expect viewers to reach every stream title in a directory, so we need new ways to help viewers figure out which stream they want to watch.”

Tags create a “common structure” that lets viewers filter content in a “consistent, easy to see way.”

As for combining games with non-gaming categories, Twitch said the change is intended to help non-gaming streamers build audiences. It improves visibility for non-gaming streamers, Twitch said.

Twitch has also removed Communities, which it said brought in less than three percent of Twitch viewership. “It was clear that Communities were not helping viewers find new streamers to watch,” a representative wrote.