Microsoft recently announced that it would be closing the doors on Mixer, its streaming platform, in the very near future. Instead, they are going to partner up with Facebook Gaming. When the news hit a few days ago, many people were upset, and there were reports of heartbroken streamers weeping on stream. In many ways, this shut down sucks. In some ways, maybe it doesn’t. Let’s take a look.
For starters, we don’t know exactly what the move to Facebook Gaming entails. Mixer is known for the way it integrates a lot of fun tools that allow viewers to interact with the games being streamed. It also had a very convenient method of co-streaming wherein two streamers could stream their perspectives to one video. It all lent a sense of community to the platform which, by all accounts, was significantly smaller than the streaming giant, Twitch.
And while Mixer was pretty small, it did provide some competition for Twitch. For starters, prominent streamers, Ninja and Shroud, moved away from Twitch as part of an exclusive deal with Mixer. That’s at least some incentive for Amazon to work to retain its content providers. Of course, now, those streamers are free to go wherever they want now that Mixer will no longer exist.
Exclusive deals like this are becoming more common, though. Pewdiepie, one of the most popular Youtubers ever, recently signed his own exclusive deal with Youtube to stream on their platform. It’s a very natural fit for him, since most of his audience knows him from there anyway. Will Youtube move to scoop up former Mixer streamers? Or will they move to Twitch?
It’s all up in the air because Facebook is a mixed bag. On one hand, the platform is huge and offers an absolutely enormous audience across extremely varied demographics. Promotion will likely also be easier on the social network. Beyond that, former Mixer partners are being offered partnership for Facebook to make the move easier. But it’s still Facebook and there is a growing distrust for the service. There’s also a growing dislike for it. Whether it’s for political reasons, frustration with the way they have handled plainly false articles, or a concern for how they manage data, there are a lot of reasons streamers and their audiences might want nothing to do with Facebook Gaming.
Microsoft does seem to think that the new platform will be bring more viewers and it might be interesting to see how the social media giant integrates with Microsoft’s platform. Who knows what tools they can produce, and who knows what new people might be brought into the world of streaming as a result of potential widespread exposure.
Personally, I liked Mixer a lot, and it would have been nice to see them stick around because it’s good to have options. And, personally, I won’t be moving over to Facebook for various reasons. But I hope the streamers from Mixer manage to find a new home and I hope that some of the other streaming services draw some inspiration from the perishing platform.