Twitch 'Communities' help you find specific streams

They're like subreddits, but for video game streams.

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Robert Galbraith / Reuters
Robert Galbraith / Reuters

Despite YouTube and Facebook's best efforts, Twitch is still the king of video game live streaming. The platform's popularity has given rise to a new problem though: discoverability. When so many different people are streaming, how do you find the channels that suit your particular interests? Enter "Communities," a new type of hub page that users can build around specific games or topics. They can be about almost anything -- speedrunning, comedy, or the joys of Jet Grind Radio. Each community is public and listed in a new Community directory. Streamers can then "target" them so their broadcast appears on the page's "stream wall."

Community "leaders" can choose a custom avatar, banner, and set specific rules for the page. They also have the power to ban and timeout channels deemed inappropriate for the group. Like Reddit, then, the onus is on Twitch's community to monitor these hubs and stop them from spiralling out of control. The advantages are numerous though: now, a streamer can reach a specific, relevant audience on a broadcast-by-broadcast basis. If I'm usually playing League of Legends, for instance, but fancy streaming DJ Hero one night, I can target a music or rhythm games group that will know and appreciate what I'm doing. For streamers, that's a useful way to diversify and reach new people who might become loyal subscribers.

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