The Twitch community has an (understandably) complex relationship with the company that is Twitch. In the past, the community felt heard, with Twitch making moves that overtly helped creators and viewers. It's perhaps why the 50% sub-split was easier to digest. Over the last couple of years, that trust has evaporated due to a considerable amount of accrued communication debt. The community no longer believes Twitch executives have the creators' best interests in mind. It's why there's SO much negativity any time they launch something - there's no faith that these decisions will help creators. I fear this descent into a dark era will continue, especially due to layoffs that impacted ~20% of staff last week.
Speaking of Twitch Staff, after a week of mental stress, uncertain about their future, they're expected to pick up the pieces of missing coworkers in gutted departments and carry on. The beatings will continue until morale improves. Their trust in the executive team is also broken. Layoffs fall solely on the shoulders of bad executive decisions. So, while I don't believe Twitch is dead, it's undoubtedly wounded. Twitch execs need to take a hard look at their choices over the last few years. The Bleed Purple era is over, but whether Twitch bleeds out or cauterizes the wound and builds back is in their control.
Another long intro - sorry. Let's get into the news.
- Amazon CEO Andy Jassy announced layoffs across the company early this week, mentioning Twitch. Hours later, seemingly caught off guard, Twitch announced they were planning layoffs that would impact over 400 people - about 20% of the company, BUT hadn't finalized it yet. Instead, a brutal waiting period lasted all week. Finally, on Thursday afternoon, Dan Clancy announced that layoffs would occur on Friday. Another agonizing day for staff, waiting to see if they would be called into a meeting (and let go) or waiting till the end of the day to know if they would keep their jobs. All-in-all, this was a brutal and demoralizing experience for all staffers.
- I collected some data on the layoffs as a percentage of total layoffs. Not a complete data set, but interesting nonetheless.
- The Verge posted an article AFTER the announcement of layoffs, where Twitch Execs are "pretty sure they made the right changes." Worst timing ever.
- WaPo's Nathan Grayson posted a collection of stories on "How Twitch Lost its Way." Twitch's bets against creators, cutting costs, the negative impact of Constance Knight, advertising struggles, and why features remain untouched for ages in a state of maintenance mode.
- Twitch Advertising updated its website to reflect fewer first-time and monthly streamers. It also refers to two new tracking tools - Prism for Demographics and Grapevine for Sentiment.