Sorry for the 1 day delay, you can read why that happened at the end of this post.
It’s a thing and it works, but why does it work? Is there some sort of magic behind it? There are few things that can go right and a few things that can go wrong. The main point is that you should try it and let me explain why. Also this article is based around the ideas and research by Seth Godin and David Logan. The main reason for this article is to make you re-think sub-mode only Twitch chat not as a way to control/slowdown your chat, but instead to add value and use it in different ways then a crowd control. My hopes is that we can innovate how we use Twitch chat.
Why would anyone want do it?
The first thought that pops-up in peoples mind is often “why would you alienate a big viewer base?” It’s not that simple, however it might look like that from the outside looking in. People that have that point of view are not your target audience and a open Twitch chat won’t change that. Sure you might loose a viewer but what you didn’t loose was a subscriber. And yes a dedicated fan is more important than a viewer, sorry if that messed your view of Twitch.
There are a few scenarios that can/will happen if you go sub-mode Twitch chat 24/7.
1. Subscribers will start talk more.
Why is this? It’s actually pretty simple when we look at the tribal leadership concept. That puts you as a leader, your subscribers as your tribe, and then the rest are outsiders. The reason for more talk is then that inside of your tribe you have a exclusive language, now this is a bit diluted when you turn off sub-mode only Twitch chat. When you have sub-mode off that exclusiveness is gone, there’s no benefit to being part of your tribe, and talking with outsiders isn’t really that fun. However when the outsiders aren’t allowed in you allow your tribe to flourish. They all gathered around you as their leader and now they can actually be a part of that tribe that they paid to get into.
The reason for all of this goes back to our ancestors and is probably the reason why language exists. We didn’t want random people walking in and acting as being a part of the tribe so language became a thing to show that you are part of something. As does being a subscriber to a channel, your a tribe member of that tribe. There’s this great This American Life podcast with Jared Diamond about his book The World Until Yesterday, the podcast talks about it for about 7 minutes at the start and then there’s other stories. I ordered the book and will read it.
2. People right outside the tribe will join.
People that had the notion of maybe joining but for whatever reason didn’t, well they now have a reason. The counter argument is that they will leave, and yes some will, that’s a given. They either hate the change or they can’t see the value, but most likely they even stay to view but just not talk in Twitch chat. If they never where active in Twitch chat then the change has no effect on them or your viewership anyway. On the other hand it might turn some completely off but that most likely means that they never had the notion of actually becoming dedicated followers and then you can see point I outline below.
3. Undedicated followers will leave, but your subscribers won’t.
This is the least of your worries. People that never had the intention of joining should never be any worries for you. Yes they will be the most vocal to the change but why would someone that don’t see the value in what you do be important to you? You should never focus on the people that never have the intention to give back anything at all. That doesn’t mean you should go around calling them out, but don’t make changes due to them. Your important viewers are your current dedicated followers and your potential dedicated followers. If sub-mode helps both of them then sub-mode only Twitch chat 24/7 is the right choice.
Twitch chat is Twitch chat
This is actually a very valid point. Twitch chat really has become a thing. You can embrace the crazyness of it and you will get a boost from that. There are great streamers that use Twitch chat as a way to not only interact but as a way to build a community around that crazyness. Therefor it’s up to you do decide what type of community that you want.
What about smaller streams?
I hear you and I understand your concern that it might only work for bigger streamers. And it might, I haven’t looked at smaller streamers that have 24/7 sub-mode Twitch chats. However everything I’ve outlined here should still be relevant and true to any tribe size. There shouldn’t be a bottom or top limit to how/when you apply the tribe mentality. What you should do is watch Seth Godin’s TED talk “The Tribes We Lead” and David Logan’s “Tribal Leadership“. After that you can make up your own mind, but I would at least test it out before saying that it’s the wrong thing. It might work for some, and for some it might only work in some situations. But I want everyone to stop using as a way to slow down Twitch chat, that should be the main takeaway.
Quick side note:
I want to clear up the 1000 true fans and 300 close relationships thing. The 1000 true fans is a great theory and works great if you want to have fans but a lot of people end up on the 300 path, without understanding why. The reason for ending on the 300 path is due to you’re focusing on the closer relationship than the fan relationship, quick explanation that I might revisit a bit later.
I was suppose to post a case study yesterday but realized that the streamer won’t start until this Monday. I don’t want to spoil the reveal so I’m going not going to post anything about it until I make my Monday post. Anyway I’m going to start working on a new project, that isn’t branding, more about that in the coming week but I promise that it will something everyone will enjoy.