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Twitch's Disastrous Policies Just Gave Kick More Power

Kick may have just gotten its best shot yet at moving in on Twitch's territory. On June 6, Amazon-owned streaming platform Twitch made an announcement that severely ticked off its users and creators who call it home. The company planned to roll out some major changes to its policies surrounding ads and branded content. These changes included a crackdown on the types of things that can be advertised on the platform, as well as a ban on burned-in ads and a limit on how large ads can be when displayed on-screen.

All of these restrictions were immediately deemed by the community to be anti-user, to the point where many of the company's biggest contracted streamers began threatening to leave the platform and take their channels (and fans) elsewhere. The backlash was so intense that Twitch tossed out the new rules less than a day after announcing them, admitting that it was huge mistake.

Perhaps more notable, however, is how much of the conversation over the last few days has been dominated by talk of streamers joining Kick. The rival platform has risen to prominence in the last year as an apparent haven for streamers who have either been booted from Twitch or are otherwise fed up with the larger platform's rules and regulations. This has naturally led to some questionable content being streamed on the service, with former Twitch star Adin Ross notably livestreaming pornography just because he felt he could get away with it.

Because of the Wild West nature of Kick, there's been a sense of trepidation regarding the platform. Now, however, Kick is looking more like a viable alternative than ever — and it's arguably all thanks to Twitch's latest missteps.

Kick got a huge boost in visibility from celebs and streamers

The fiasco with Twitch has inadvertently given Kick way more visibility. Within a day of Twitch unveiling its new ad policies, a number of prominent streamers indicated that they were considering a move over to the rival streaming platform, or may otherwise be interested in negotiating some kind of deal with Kick. This goes for major content creators who aren't even best known for their streaming content, like MrBeast.

In a back-and-forth that quickly went viral on Twitter, Kick revealed that MrBeast had just followed the platform on Twitter, posting his seeming endorsement like a badge of honor. Shortly before that, MrBeast lambasted Twitch for creating new rules that could decrease streamers' earnings, so it's hard not to see the two things as connected. And just to add a little more spice to the proceedings, MrBeast joked that he was considering streaming on Kick as a form of protest against Twitch's new rules.

Not one to be left out of any discourse, Elon Musk also weighed in on how excited he was to see MrBeast and Kick getting along. Again, this entire thread was seemingly kicked off (no pun intended) by the advent of Twitch's restrictive branded content policies, proving that there really is such a thing as bad publicity — especially if said publicity ends up making your competitor look like a more secure option.

Twitch vs. Kick is only getting more heated

Even if Twitch is able to patch things up with streamers, onlookers are likely to remember the ways in which Kick spoke up for the streaming community this week. Kick has been able to position itself as something of a savior in this situation, offering to pay the $25 fine that streamers may incur for leaving Twitch. Sure, this is 100% a move by Kick to be more competitive, but it's definitely left an impression on folks.

Even though Twitch has apologized for the missteps and walked back its controversial policy changes, the entire ordeal has clearly left a sour taste in the mouths of viewers and creators. It's also not the first time that the company's policy changes have enraged streamers, many of whom have found themselves having to make sudden changes to the way they do business in order to remain viable. Compare that to Kick's entire attitude, which is a Mountain-Dew-commercial-in-the-90s-esque "Do whatever you want, my dudes." At the end of the day, streamers are likely to pick the platform with the least restrictions keeping them from making bank on their channels.

After all, most content creators got into the gig to make money from it, even those streamers who take joy in interacting with fans and donating to good causes. Twitch seems to be making it more and more difficult for that to be possible, and people are likely going to turn to alternatives like Kick as a result. And according to Kick, that's already starting to happen. In the day after Twitch announced its now-canceled branded content crackdown, Kick's sign-ups skyrocketed.

And giving Twitch a sarcastic thank-you for the increase in popularity? It might be petty, but it also might be the most gamer move of all.