‘This one is baffling’: Twitch streamers speak out over host mode phase-out

Twitch streamers seem divided on the topic.

Image via Twitch

Twitch’s decision to remove its host mode features, which have been a part of the website since 2014, has divided streamers across the platform.

Host mode is a feature that allowed Twitch streamers to feature another live channel after their broadcast ended. Creators hosting other channels would essentially create another viewing experience for the selected channel, hosting an entirely separate chat on the host’s channel.

Twitch said it ultimately decided to end the feature due to shifting preferences in creators, writing “we’ve learned that streamers often want to share their viewers with other streamers to help them grow.” Raiding has provided a more contemporary alternative to hosting, providing a direct means of sending viewers to another creator’s channel after ending a broadcast. While Twitch appeared to point to raiding as the replacement to hosting, not all creators have agreed with the platform’s sentiments.

Creator Critical Bard said that raiding does not equate to hosting and that the two functions pose very different purposes. While Critical Bard said that he raids other channels immediately following a broadcast, Bard said “I host when I’m not currently live so my unused channel clicks to someone that IS live for more engagement.”

OTK co-founder and COO Tips Out gave his opinion that “[Twitch] should rename the ‘raid’ feature to ‘host.'” Tips cited hosting as an iconic feature that should be maintained on the site in some way, even if its functionality is completely changed.

Other creators such as Thafnine found the move entirely unnecessary, writing “I normally would have something more to say about this, but this one is baffling.” Though hosting has been surpassed in popularity by the raiding feature, many creators still found ample use for the function as a means of passively supporting fellow streamers and see its discontinuation as a loss of a valuable asset.

Not all reactions to host mode’s sunsetting have been entirely negative, though. Other creators cited the service’s declining relevancy, largely pointing to raiding as the leading means of audience sharing. While some have labeled Twitch’s decision as irrational, others hope that it will allow the platform to better its still active features.

While host mode is officially leaving the website on Oct. 3, the debate is likely to continue raging.