A little background first, I’ve been a streamer since June 2015 shortly before the birth of my son, with my first official broadcast on the 2nd July 2015. I adore gaming, and networks, and while dabbling in streaming before on hitbox, justin.tv, ustream, and youtube and many others my decision to take to streaming properly is based on a desire to have a rewarding hobby, where I can share my enthusiasm for gaming and technology with other likeminded people in a safe and rewarding community.
After 3 months of streaming to twitch, and building up a community of 500 followers with regular viewers i went on holiday for a couple of weeks to return to what felt like starting from scratch again. My experience on twitch once I’d setup various bots to stop being trolled, wasn’t particularly bad, but being discovered on twitch was next to impossible. I headed over to liftgaming and made a forum post asking for advice. RocketBear‘s reply was the big game changer for me. I had actually signed up for beam in August 2015, although the service seemed so raw and empty at the time that I hadn’t given it much thought.
I went back to back to Beam, initially multi-streaming to both platforms to encourage my followers that remained on twitch to move across to beam.
The first thing you’ll notice when browsing Beam channels is interactive buttons is the quality of the streams, while twitch was still struggling with working out how to stream over HTML5 without flash, Beam had the technology nailed down on both desktop and mobile. Even better, you’ll see a great many streamers have interactive buttons below their streams to directly interact with the streamer, or the game. While twitch has a 30 second or longer delay beam’s delay is usually less than 5 seconds, and next to zero on streams that are using Beam’s experimental FTL protocol.
No matter what technology you put in place, it pales in significance to the importance of the community, and the social aspect. Community is Beams’ trump card, and the reason why established streamers and new blood are moving over to Beam, they come and visit out of curiosity, and then stay for the community, and people they meet. One of the aspects of Beam that is a perfect example of community is raiding, just before finishing a stream it’s polite to share your audience with other Beam streamers, and pass on the love by asking everyone to jump into another streamers channel before you sign off, so they can say hi and help your audience discover new streamers, as well as showing support for their channel.
While hosting others has been around for ages, Beam raids have evolved to be part and parcel of community life on Beam. As users work on growing their communities and helping others Lagby‘s famous ‘lagouts’ have become commonplace in other stream channels asking all of chat to raise their hands if they stream with a ‘o/’ so others can follow fellow streamers. As Beam grows it’s community is growing up with it, finding ways to use interactive, to share viewership and work together. You don’t get an experience like this on any other streaming platform, and it honestly changes your perspective on streaming from such a passive experience to one that both engaging and interactive. Beams founder Matt Salsamendi and his wonderful community team are highly active and engage directly with the viewers.
This is where and why I moved to Beam from Twitch, I’m way past where I was with twitch in numbers and viewers, and it feels like home, fresh, new exciting and part of something big. Hope to see you here soon.
I’ll be following up with more posts about Beam’s interactive capability, partnership program, the community, some great streamers and evolution of beam soon. (More about the incredible Microsoft Acquisition later)