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Hi there, and welcome to my little crash course about Streamer Etiquette. In this article, I intend to go over the rules of being a live streamer within a community. As a content creator in the live streaming scene, there are a few things that you will need to be aware of so that you do not step on a landmine, shattering any chance of forming connections with others within a streaming community you’d like to be a part of.
Most rules, luckily, are pretty intuitive and self-explanatory. In most cases, you’re likely to already know that you probably shouldn’t do certain things when trying to forge a relationship with another streamer.
Streamer Etiquette Rule 1: No Self Promotion in another’s a channel
Without explicit permission.
Here is an example of one of the less obvious landmines, unsolicited, benign self-promotion. The individual who does this may not even be aware of what they are doing in essence, because they are blinded by elation from achieving a goal. Read this quick scenario:
“Hi Streamer! How are you doing?” – A person who is about to drop a self-advertisement, knowingly or not.
“Oh, hey, welcome to the stream. I’m doing okay, how about yourself?”
“I’m doing great! I just hit affiliate and am excited to start my career as a full-time streamer!”This is an example of “Low key Self Advertisement”. By stating that you hit affiliate, you are announcing to their chat that you are also a streamer. Users within chat can click on your name, and navigate to your channel. This scenario is particularly irksome to streamers if this is literally the second thing somebody says, many will take offense to this.
Ask yourself – “Would I be okay if they did that on my channel?”
In most cases, you’d probably say, “Well, no. I’m not okay with them promoting their content on my channel. I don’t even know them, nor do I know the kind of content they create, or even their personality.” etc. This is a fairly obvious rule to most, but I see blissfully ignorant novices make this mistake.
All. The. Time.
Now, I will say that there is a subset of streamers that do not mind this, and they will generally follow up with “Wow, cool, congrats man!”. But think about it from the streamer’s perspective – They are trying to make content on a hyper-competitive platform, and this person is literally de-railing their content to make it about them. It is absolutely fine to be excited about a goal that they reach – It is another thing entirely to use it as a chip – willfully or otherwise, in the act of promoting their content.
Streamer Etiquette Rule 2: Refrain from overusing @ in chat
One of the most annoying things to me personally, is when somebody @’s me on Discord CONSTANTLY. Like dude, I got it the first time, you had my attention. Don’t keep dropping the @ to make that notification blow up. This is a surefire way to get me to drop-kick your handle from my community, complete with a ban bow on top.
It is rude, annoying, and will close out the potential for future networking opportunities with them.
This also applies to @everyone and @here on discord servers.
On the subject of Discord servers – Create an Opt-in role for when you go live
An idea that is now in use by the Hype speed gaming community, whom I am partnered with, is to utilize a special role to notify your community when you are live. They call this role “@StreamFan”, and all streamers who promote their content on discord are required to use that instead of @everyone. This means that only the people who want to be pinged get pinged. Believe me when I say that your audience will GREATLY APPRECIATE this, as it will help to declutter their notification spam.
Going live is a common event, and can very quickly overwhelm a person who follows a bunch of streamers. It’s simply too many pings, scaling linearly for every streamer somebody follows. You’re likely to have your server suppressed by them. I’m in around 70 servers, and nearly all of them have @everyone and @here suppressed because going through 100+ @everyones or @ here’s gets a bit annoying.
I temporarily enabled them for a few servers for a few hours, and this is the result. 27 pings in a few hours. All of them @everyone, not specifically directed to me. Yeesh! Now multiply that for every streamer who someone follows.
Streamer Etiquette Rule 3: Don’t ask for Hosts/Raids
I think that the pure audacity of this should speak for itself. Raiding and hosting are a totally legitimate means of forging relationships with other streamers on Twitch – However, asking for this to come your way is asking to step on some juicy landmines. Even if the streamer does end up raiding or hosting the individual who asked, the act of asking will likely result in the streamer being annoyed by it.
Instead, you could engage the reciprocation law – give a raid, have a chance for a raid to come back your way. This is the proper, organic way to use this feature.
Streamer Etiquette Rule 4: Don’t Ask for Bits/Subs/Follows
This one can be a bit of a slippery slope. If you’ve ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you said, it’s how you said it.” then you’ll have an idea of what I mean. When growing a channel, it is important to mention the prospect of follows, buts and subs. However, the presentation of it is important, and how you phrase the subject needs to be carefully considered.
Here are some examples:
“Hey guys, could you follow me?”Why this is frowned upon – The way that this is phrased basically makes you sound desperate, and this bluntness of it may be a put-off to some people
“If you follow me, You’ll catch more thrilling content like this guys!”This is good – You are presenting yourself in a way that many will see as beneficial to them – They enjoy your content, so follow to see more like it.
“Hey guys, it’s like, just $5 a month. For the price of a subway sub once per month, you can help me pay my bills by subbing to me. Like, even the poorest person can afford to do this.”If you know the reference, I’m sorry. I’m not mentioning who it was because I don’t want to promote that channel here. Why it’s bad – Guilt tripping the audience, Poor Shaming, and blatantly ego-centric.
“Heyy, drop them bitties!”Kind of a grey area here, but more bad than good.
In short – Before you mention one of these three actions in your own channel, think about how to frame them.
Streamer Etiquette Rule 5: Avoid Follow4follow or Sub4Sub schemes
While not necessarily detrimental to your channel, the only one who wins from a Sub for Sub is Twitch, as they take 50% of the sub. If you buy a sub, intending to get a return, you are losing half your investment. I see so many streamers who are stuck in this mindset of
“If I can at least show that somebody will sub to me, maybe others will feel more comfortable and sub to me too!”
Plus, there is a risk of them not returning the sub favor. Cue streamer harassments story.
As for Follow4Follow – This can actually hurt your channel. Members of your audience are able to see your follower count, and if it is extremely inflated when compared to your current viewer count, then they are likely to assume you either bought the followers, or did some follow4follow scheme. Furthermore, think about who is following you – Another streamer, who is likely going to be focusing on growing their own channel and work on their own content. They won’t be there for you as often as you’d probably like.
That isn’t to say that you can’t make friends, and follow them – Just make sure that you aren’t actively inflating the metrics with these dubious tactics.
Also, if you approach some people with the intent to carry out these schemes, they’ll simply ignore you, and forget you even exist.
Streamer Etiquette Rule 6: Linking rules
By default, EVERY CHANNEL SHOULD RESTRICT LINKS.
Here is why.
- Links can be a dangerous thing.
- Pornographic imagery could be the endpoint, among other dark possibilities. (Think viruses, hacking, etc)
- Selfish people who care nothing for streamer etiquette will link drop their channel and leave, never to be seen again in an attempt to leech your audience.
- Only allow links via a !permit command for someone you trust on your own channels. This can be done with the help of a bot.