The Twitch 'Hot Tub Meta' is finally changing according to a new announcement from the livestreaming platform — get ready for the new "Pools, Hot Tubs, and Beaches" category.
As you're probably aware, Twitch.tv is a streaming platform that originally started as a place to play games. As time went on, it expanded to include other categories such as Arts & Crafts, music, and the like, along with a more casual livestreaming experience in the "Just Chatting" category.
It is in this Just Chatting category where the so-called "Hot Tub Meta" developed. Here's a quick primer: Twitch mandates that any clothing you wear has to be appropriate for the setting. Wearing a bathing suit in your room while talking to people would be against those guidelines, but it wouldn't be a problem at the beach or a pool. The solution, some streamers reckoned, is to simply stream from a hot tub or pool.
That led to a bit of a problem — the generic Just Chatting category was absolutely overwhelmed with women in bikinis. It certainly wasn't against the rules, but it did present a bit of a problem for Twitch, as advertisers complained, and other streamers were drowned out. Now, Twitch has developed a solution and it's already been implemented, apparently with little to no advance warning for creators.
How the Twitch Hot Tub Meta is Changing
A new blog post titled "Let's Talk About Hot Tub Streams" explains the problems with the Twitch Hot Tub Meta and how it will be changing in the future. Simply put, these kinds of streams must now be sorted into their own category "Pools, Hot Tubs, and Beaches."
"Community and advertiser feedback made clear that we need to offer more ways to control the content that’s recommended as well as where ads appear," read the blog post. "So, we’re introducing a new category: Pools, Hot Tubs, and Beaches. If you have chosen swimwear that is allowed under the “Swim and Beaches” contextual exception to our standard Nudity and Attire policy, you should stream into the Pools, Hot Tubs, and Beaches category."
The explosion of hot tub streams (and similar content) has led to enormous profit for some livestreamers, although it doesn't come without its hazards. Popular Twitch streamer Kaitlyn "Amouranth" Siragusa (seen above) lost an estimated $40,000 a month in revenue after she says Twitch suspended her ability to run ads on her channel without warning.
"Yesterday I was informed that Twitch has Indefinitely Suspended Advertising on my channel[,]" Amouranth said in a Twitter thread. "Twitch didn't reach out in any way whatsoever. I had to initiate the conversation after noticing, without any prior warning, all the ads revenue had disappeared from my Channel Analytics[.]"
This new category isn't an option for the people who have heavily shifted to doing Hot Tub streams, mind — it is now required as detailed in this new help article.
ENSURING THE CONTENT IS IN THE CORRECT CATEGORY
Creators that have chosen swimwear that is allowed under the “Swim and Beaches” contextual exception to our standard Nudity and Attire policy must stream into the Pools, Hot Tubs & Beaches category. If you do not appropriately categorize your stream you may be moved into the Pools, Hot Tubs & Beaches category. If this happens, we will notify creators via email.
Critically, the introduction of the new Pools, Hot Tubs, and Beaches category gives advertisers the option to prevent their campaigns from being shown in this category. Advertisers can (and probably will) still run ads on these streams, but the ability to avoid them should alleviate any complaints Twitch may have been getting. This is just a short-term solution for now; in the future, Twitch plans to evaluate the situation and figure out a way to make things work well for everyone involved.
"This is not intended to be our long-term solution to improve brand targeting capabilities and increase personalization in our recommendations," Twitch's blog post continued. "It does, however, solve a few issues for all audiences in the near term. Creators can continue to stream content that falls into this category as long as it doesn’t violate our guidelines. Viewers can better avoid recommendations for content that they don’t want to see, and those wishing to view this content will have an easier time finding it. And brands can either opt-in or -out of this category based on whether it aligns with their target audiences, like they can today with any other category."
What do you think of the Twitch Hot Tub Meta? Did you enjoy watching hot tub streams or did you find them an annoyance? Let us know in the comments below!