Major Twitch update splits viewers with controversial new layout

. 13 days ago
Twitch

Twitch has rolled out a significant new browser layout on the desktop version of the streaming site. While some have praised it for its benefits, others don’t like the new navigation, and even accused it of being a method to show more ads – which Twitch has refuted.

Despite being over 10 years old since the Justin.tv days, Twitch’s desktop experience has remained largely unchanged throughout that time – a sign of great design to start with.

There have of course been updates, such as improved chat appearance and better stream quality, but the navigation of the site has always remained fairly similar.

This changed on June 21, when a new browser layout was introduced. When browsing through a game’s directory, the most popular stream in the category will autoplay at the top, taking up over 50% of the screen space.

New Twitch layout
Twitch
The new Twitch layout displays when browsing a category.

It will display chat on the right-hand side, and after a minute or so, the stream will pause, giving you the option to ‘go to stream’ directly, or go ‘next’ to see the next most popular stream.

Twitch update proves divisive

Streamer Lowco praised the new layout for boosting discoverability – something that smaller creators argue has been lacking.

Because you can now see a preview of the stream before committing, it might encourage viewers to check out a new channel more often.

However, while the discoverability argument might be valid, some have complained about the layout itself being cumbersome, and difficult to scroll through the available streams, as well as the autoplay with sound being off-putting.

Some have also suggested this new layout could be an opportunity for Twitch to show more ads, thanks to the autoplay function.

However, Twitch has publicly clarified that pre-roll ads will not play at all in this view, meaning this complaint shouldn’t actually be of any concern.

Twitch will be taking feedback on board, and potentially making more updates to the new layout. Right now, it’s not available for everyone, so it may just be in a testing phase still.

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