Twitch is no longer “performing”, will stream less
After more than a month (and seemingly healthy) hiatus from social media and content creation, Twitch star Imane “Pokimane” Anis has returned to uploading content. But now everything will be different. Pokimane dropped new video on youtube today details her time away from the internet, what she has learned and what her viewers can expect from her in the future. Overall, this serves as an illustration of how “creatively unsatisfactory” Twitch’s second biggest TV presenter has recently found a business in live streaming.
Pokimane has become a household name on Twitch, the live streaming platform owned by Amazon. There are 9.2 million subscribers, Pokimane is second only to Amouranth. However, she has been broadcasting herself by playing games for almost a decade when she was only 17 years old. At around age 21, she turned her streaming hobby into a full-time job, appearing on video at least six times a week for several hours at a time. It can be exhausting, especially if you’ve been doing it for almost 10 years, which is exactly how Pokimane felt.
So, back in July – and that’s normal for her from time to time – she gave up all forms of parasocial bonding to focus on herself. She didn’t elaborate on how long she’ll be offline, but after more than a month of being away, Pokimane came back to say that, in short, she won’t stick to her previously suggested streaming schedule of about four times a week. Instead, she told her audience that she would “see you when I see you,” which she estimates would be about two to three times a week, if that’s the case. And when viewers see her, it might not even be on Twitch.
Pokimane said she didn’t realize how much she neglected her own needs while streaming full time, like finding nearby grocery stores or setting a good daily routine. In other words, “basic human things” have taken a backseat in favor of live broadcasts, and the job, she believes, has affected her ability to take care of herself. These are symptoms of burnout that many professional streamers have referred to as common job-related struggles over the years. In Pokimane’s case, this pushes her to make big and permanent changes. The problem, as she describes it, is that sticking to your normal routine is like staying in a form of arrested development.
“And obviously, as people, we just repeat what people like,” she said, referring to the willingness of content creators to play with trends in order to succeed. She claims that it is especially destructive to play in public when you are young and have not yet decided who you want to be. “I feel, especially as content creators, whether we want to admit it or not, obviously we want people to like what we do.”
Pokimane went on to say that she often doesn’t have time to think about anything else in her life other than work. She said it’s hard to find time for yourself when you’re “glued to the screen for eight hours just reading comments about what people think of you.” Instead, she wants to dictate how she grows and changes as a person, rather than having to do it for her.
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“Looks like I just don’t want to participate in the rat race that is being broadcast,” Pokimane said with a heavy sigh. “It’s so hard for me to say things like that because I feel… I don’t know, I have this fear — this feeling that people might be disappointed when they hear these things. But basically, when I wake up today, I don’t want to run to my computer and play for eight hours straight.”
It’s important to note that one of the things that Pokimane points out during his explanation is that grinding streams don’t feel like they used to because the games themselves don’t hit like they used to.
“I’ve played almost every big fashion game,” Pokimane said. “I hope it’s not [seem] arrogant of me, but now when I see something on Twitch, I feel like I was there, did it. There is little that excites or fascinates me, except for general communication and communication with people.
According to her, she likes games off the stream more than on the stream, which takes the pressure off. And she still loves games like valiant, sure, but not at the “tempo or frequency” required for streaming. Of course, it doesn’t help that streaming itself has begun to feel unpleasant.
“Do you [all] Whether you realize it or not, streamers are under such pressure to follow every trend, capitalize on viewers, stream longer than [person] next to them or [person] that they have a similar audience,” Pokimane said. “It’s just an ultra-competitive industry, but ultimately the reason I’m saying this is because I’m just at a point in my life where I no longer feel the creative satisfaction to feed on it. It used to be okay because either the games I really liked or something about streaming seemed new to me. But right now I feel like I still want to be part of my arsenal, I just don’t want to feel the same pressure that I need to feel as a “permanent streamer”.
So, Pokimane is leaving the site where she grew her huge audience. She is interested in entering other platforms, which she has already done on places like Instagram and TikTok, exploring fashion and other lifestyle content. It’s a reversal, but nothing unexpected. The key difference now is that while she remains focused on diversifying her content, she wants to do away with the audience, company, and contract pressures that come with constantly streaming on Twitch, or tie her brand entirely to the video games that are spinning. around constant updates.
“The most important part of that, and also the hardest part for me to talk about, is honestly just coming to terms with my changing desires for content,” Pochimane said. “I mean, my hiatus really cemented this feeling in me that I should want to do a lot more than just streaming.”
Kotaku reached out to Pokimane for comment.
Around the same time, Pokimane announced that it was diversifying the places where it uploads content, one of the biggest streamer names, Ninja, tweeted that he “needs to take a break.” As more and more major streamers talk about how endemic job burnout has been in the past few years, it’s clear that professional streamers are facing some kind of payback.
“I think I just wanted to talk about it so that I can mentally take that pressure off and just feel free and happy to do whatever content I want to do, anytime, about anything,” Pokimane said during your video. “And use whatever means and platforms I feel is appropriate at the moment… if people have been following me for so long, maybe they are just interested in what I have to say, or my life.”