When it comes to twitch hosting, a lot of people have it wrong. Streamers and followers alike view twitch hosts as a great way for larger streamers to give smaller streamers more exposure, more follows, more views, etc. however this is not really the case. This is not because hosting is a failed system, but rather that it is culture dependent. Remember, the viewer count that is displayed in a host alert is made of real people. People zone-in to the number and they tend to forget this very important fact.
Followers watch streamers because they enjoy their content and they like their show. When it comes to hosting, people forget this. People assume that followers are like cattle and that they just watch any stream. This is not true at all. In fact, most times when a streamer hosts another streamer within minutes everyone from the supposed “raid” is totally gone. Some raid.
Now this doesn’t mean that hosting is worthless. I host another streamer after every time I finish streaming. I do this not because I think I am giving another streamer a giant opportunity to get views, follows, etc. it is because I am saying hello to them and being kind. This is exactly what other people do when they host me as well (most of the time at least).
Hosting is a great way for streamers to be kind to one another and be there for each other. Streaming can be a very tough job. Especially with viewer counts rising and falling all the time it can be an emotional roller-coaster. The nature of streaming is online as well so it’s not like streamers get to meet other streamers in real life and shoot the shit about it; unlike most jobs.
I have only ever met one other streamer in real life, excluding twitch-con. And when we met, we talked about streaming for hours because we were both so excited to meet someone that can relate and discuss what we do every day. I host for this reason. It is a good act of kindness from streamer to streamer that is very important. I absolutely love it when other streamers host me. It’s a great feeling to know other streamers are out there supporting me and thinking about helping me, even if at times the host really doesn’t do anything. The thought really counts.
Now twitch hosts do not have to be like this. As they are made of people, those people can choose to stay in the hosted twitch stream. This then actually does give the hosted streamer a chance to possibly get new followers, viewers, a chance; e.g. what hosting was actually meant to do.
I want hosting to be great again. Over time twitch hosting, at least with small streamers, has become practically useless. People just host streamers instead of preparing their chat for them. If I tell a friend about a band I like I will really try to sell the band to them and explain why I like them and why I think they would like them too. I do this as well to the people I host. The streamers I regularly host are streamers that I actually like, who I believe are good entertainers and that my chat would enjoy them. I will do my best to sell them to my chat so that my followers give them a real chance. Remember, a chat watches a stream for the streamer, and when the streamer dumps them on someone else, the chat often is thinking “who the hell is this?” If you want hosts to actually be worth something, sell the streamer you are hosting to them.
I have been so excited to hear that followers from my stream have been actively viewing some of the other streamers I host. That’s fucking awesome guys. Keep it up. That stuff makes hosting great again. If enough streamers do it that way, hosting would actually be really useful to underground streamers who could use some more exposure.
It all starts with changing the culture of twitch raids. Instead of leaving after one minute and just watching one streamer look good and gracious by dropping a big host bomb, actually spend some time and watch the hosted streamer. Talk to them in their chat and get to know them. You might end up really liking their show, and who knows you just might make hosting great again.