The New Twitch Mobile App Has Made Me Hate The Platform I Use Most

A few weeks ago Twitch rolled out an update to some users of its mobile app across iOS and Android, and after using it for three weeks I can safely say this is one of the worst redesigns I have ever seen. It’s so bad that I no longer want to watch any Twitch streams on my phone.

While the old Twitch app design was a little dated, the most important thing was that it worked and was reliable. You boot it up, see a list of the channels you follow that are live, sorted by viewers, and click on the one you want to watch. You can then close the app to have a pop out player stay on your screen while you continue to do other things. There were rarely any technical issues, and it served its purpose.

The new version of the Twitch mobile app is almost a carbon copy of TikTok, with a vertical scrolling feed of streams, some of which will be accounts you follow and some you don’t. By default, these streams autoplay, with the option to stop that being buried in the settings and no other way to pause them. If you click on a stream in the feed, you’ll be taken to the full page for that steamer, including chat.

The issues here are that the autoplaying streams will take up your data if you don’t turn them off, and the stream I actually want to watch has almost never been the first shown to me, making the entire thing somewhat pointless. It also looks terrible given that Twitch is a widescreen streaming platform, not vertical, so a significant potion of your screen is just black.

If I want to navigate to a list of my followed channels that are live, it’s an extra button press and there is no way, that I can find, to sort that list, so it’s in an order that Twitch deems suitable. For the streams I watch regularly, I know the average viewer count they have, so typically know how far down the list of followed channels I need to go. Not being able to sort this list of followed channels just makes life a little bit more annoying for no good reason at all.

Then there’s the technical issues. Multiple times I have had streams fast-forward minutes because they started playing on a delay, or there was some other issue with the timing, which never happened in the old version. The pop out player also stops randomly, and if you leave autoplay on the main feed, if you try to return to the Twitch app with a pop out stream on it will stop, and you will see the recommended stream instead.

The concept of having a feed that promotes discoverability is undoubtedly good given how difficult it can be to find an audience as a streamer, but this implementation sure isn’t the way. 99.9% of the time I’m going to Twitch knowing what I want to watch, and making it harder to do that just makes the app significantly more annoying. In fact, it’s so bad that my time on the app has dropped significantly since the change, because the issues with streams fast forwarding have made them difficult to watch. I’m now going to other platforms to have on demand content on while I do other things instead.

Hopefully Twitch realises just how irritating this new app is to use and makes some changes and technical improvements to fix things up. But if they don’t then I doubt I’ll ever go back to using the app as much as I previously did.

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