Mixer is changing the way it does its clips: it’s letting its verified Partners control who gets to make them, along with adding better editing functionality to the clipping feature itself. Streamers will be able to choose who can clip their streams, based on their channel progression rank — basically a loyalty program that you enter by watching a channel’s streams.
“We know that having clip creation available to every viewer can sometimes produce out-of-context or low-quality clips, and we believe in giving partners more control of their community,” wrote Mixer product marketing manager Ben Favreau in a press release.
The natural idiom of video online is the clip: a snappy, snackable hit of video that, when done well, is something delightful or surprising to share with the people in your life. (Links are a love language.) On live-streaming platforms like Twitch and Mixer, they’re also often the only way those services interact with the wider internet; streams are generally measured in hours, and as a matter of course — being live — they aren’t edited. Clips, on the other hand, function as portable highlight reels (more bite-sized than YouTube uploads) that can break out of the streaming ecosystem and possibly achieve some measure of virality.
The idea is that by giving Partners more control over who can create clips, more and better clips will be created — and it gives them another, more granular form of control over their channels. Another consequence: the move will probably eliminate at least some of the risk of harassment clips carry with them, because by restricting who can make clips you also restrict the content therein — it will be harder to weaponize them to embarrass or intimidate streamers if only a streamer’s biggest fans can make them. (And it’ll be slightly more difficult to end up on Reddit’s infamous r/Livestreamfail.)
Twitch, on the other hand, has a clipping function, but it isn’t (as yet) gated; anyone can create clips. You can, however, delete clips of your channel that other people have created, and their system does have moderation options streamers can take — like timing out the user for 24 hours, banning them from creating clips in your channel, or even deleting all clips from a video.
Live-streaming is already a high-wire act; there aren’t any guidelines beyond what’s covered in a site’s terms of service, and the likelihood of slipping up and saying something you probably shouldn’t goes up when you’re streaming in real time to your fans. That means Mixer’s clip changes are really just giving streamers a new way to edit themselves — something that, according to Favreau, Mixer’s Partners requested, and something that streaming in general desperately needs. Because in 2019, it’s more obvious than ever that going viral is a single-edged sword.