Poor communications from Twitch have led to confusion following the service announcing that Chrome, Edge, and Firefox are currently the only web browsers officially supported by the popular streaming platform. No context was provided within the announcement, though it appears the restrictions are temporary and have been placed on alternative browsers so that Twitch can locate and shut down access points being used to create masses of bot accounts.
The issues began with users experiencing errors when logging into the service. Twitch Support then addressed the situation by asking users to login from an up-to-date version of the three supported web browsers, and announced that a help article to address troubleshooting the issues is “coming soon.”
Twitch CPO Tom Verrilli later clarified matters on Twitter, saying that the browser restrictions are only a temporary measure to combat botnets used in hate raids. “Unfortunately this is what the work of making Twitch safe entails. Folks need to use a browser not of their preference today to stop tomorrow’s Hate Raid,” says Verrilli.
Opera GX has assured Twitch users on Twitter that they can still access the streaming platform through its browser, providing they update to the latest version. I tested three of the biggest alternative browsers myself — Safari, Brave and Opera GX — and found that I still had login access across all three, as well as the functionality to both watch videos and start a stream.
Those using unsupported browsers may still have access to Twitch
Despite the outcry in the Twitch Support comments criticizing the decision to drop official support for other browsers, using an unsupported browser doesn’t appear to outright block all access to the streaming service. However, some users are reporting issues such as being unable to make purchases on Twitch using an unsupported browser, and even streamers using one of the supported browsers are experiencing login errors.
Twitch’s hamfisted communications aren’t doing it any favors. Recent news that the platform is reducing the revenue split of its top creators from 70 / 30 to 50 / 50 has already soured its image with streamers and fans alike, causing big names like CodeMiko to consider migrating to rival services like YouTube. As some of Twitch’s best talent have already jumped ship, it’s in the platform’s best interest to be transparent with its updates to retain its community.