Twitch is reducing its delay for partners

Reduced by 500 years

[Update: Turns out this applies to all streamers, and not just partners. This has been confirmed in a tweet from the Twitch PR director.]

Hey, Twitch streamers! Remember those glorious days a few years ago when the delay on your stream was minimal? Remember when your audience could actually talk to you and it’d get there quicker than writing and sending a letter? Me too, that was the best.

And then Twitch fucked it all up by adding around 30 seconds of delay to every stream to reduce server loads. It became just that bit more difficult to cultivate a community on Twitch.

Well that might be changing for the better. In an email sent to Twitch Partners, it was announced that today (May 14) will see the addition of a new feature which will allow streamers to reduce the delay by up to a third. Unfortunately this comes at a cost:

“Tomorrow, May 14, we will be releasing an option to reduce the delay experienced during a broadcast by an average of 33%! You will find the reduced delay option in your Settings page.  

If you regularly interact with your fans in chat, we encourage you to help us test this feature. With reduced delay, you’ll spend less time waiting for replies and more time engaging with your community. You can opt-in at any time, but reduced delay must be turned on prior to the beginning of a broadcast in order to take effect. 

Please note that this feature is in beta while we measure its impact. It’s important to know that reduced delay does come at a small quality of service cost – particularly to viewers with poor internet connections. Some viewers may experience changes in playback, with shorter, more frequent buffering times. Because less video is queued on a viewer’s computer, they will be more susceptible to variations in download bandwidth, and may experience more interruptions in service while video buffers. Rather than require every channel to switch to the reduced delay option, we’re leaving it up to you to decide what is best for you and your community.”

This is great for streamers who are more based around performing for and interacting with an audience than something such as eSports, where a delay is necessary to avoid cheating. We don’t know if this will be rolled out to all users, but here’s hoping.

Next job, Twitch: get rid of that god awful Kappa emote.

Joe Parlock