Twitch is constantly improving and expanding its capabilities. New features can sometimes backfire and have unintended consequences for the community. Streamers, for example, used Twitch’s pay-to-win feature in October of last year to get NSFW content on the front page. The trend is now continuing, with a few well-known streamers abusing Twitch’s tag feature.
Twitch’s tags are similar to those used on other social media platforms. Tags help users sort through content and get a quick overview of a stream before they tune in. Twitch recently expanded the feature. The site added 350 new tags for streamers to use last year. While the tags may have helped niche content creators such as Nyanners, a Virtual YouTuber, gain popularity on the site, some argue that they are failing to achieve their original goal of assisting the underrepresented.
Unfortunately, large streamers have recently been abusing the tags feature to get their content into categories where it doesn’t belong. Part of the problem is that streamers must self-identify the type of content they’re broadcasting, which can lead to misidentification or intentionally misleading labels. Some internet celebrities can expose their brand to a new audience by claiming to be streaming in other categories, such as Vtubing. This allows them to gain viewers who would not have found them otherwise. Of course, this strategy runs the risk of enraging the community for whom the tags were created. Streamers, particularly VTubers, are outraged at this blatant abuse of the tags feature.