Twitching, television and politics: the logical development of a platform that is open to everyone?

Within a few weeks, the face of Twitch seems to have changed. The politicians suddenly mobilize tens of thousands of viewers and the television channels invite themselves to the party. Some internet users are strongly against it, while others see this as a more logical evolution of the platform. The discussions are lively and polarized. Let’s try to see more clearly. Hair stood on end at the news of BFMTV’s arrival on Twitch. “I hope you know the monster you created Samuel Etienne,” shouts a user in response to a news bulletin, for example. The journalist, host, and streamer apprentice name inevitably returns in the debate over the arrival of television media – but not only – on the platform for which it is blamed. Three months ago with the help of the well-known Etoiles Samuel Etienne started on Twitch. He now brings more than 10,000 people together every morning for a press review, “an old man’s thing,” as he calls it. For about two hours, Questions un Champion’s face reads and France Info’s morning reads the newspapers and exchanges with them The chat makes use of the interactivity and the long time it is offered. France TV also used the experiments of his protégé to launch Twitch in a live vaccine against Covid at the end of January. Samuel Etienne was then accompanied by Damien Mascret, doctor and journalist for the group. Results: Top 1 France, fifth in the world and a high of 18,000 spectators. “FC Bienveillance”, the audience of the almost 50-year-old streamer, seems to be no stranger to this success.

Baptism by fire

Informing about the pandemic is also the angle that BFMTV chose for its first live Twitch, where Margaux de Frouville, Head of Health, answered questions from internet users. Questions that already had to be read in a cluttered chat were full of insults and trolls. “We expected it to be cloudy,” admits Julien Mielcarek, head of the group’s digital editorial team and responsible for this start. Like many large media outlets, BFMTV is trying to reach a new audience and develop its editorial offering in the market. even the least favorable at first glance like Snapchat. A sense of history that is not unanimous in the streaming community: “They have their media, we have ours”; “They denigrate video games on television and want to go to Twitch,” say two streamers with a small number of subscribers when we asked their opinion on the arrival of television on the platform. It must be said that the two worlds are not very buddy-buddy: certain criticisms from traditional internet media and what revolves around video games have been recalled. And that the Internet public is giving up small screen programs en masse. Julien Mielcarek, however, does not generalize the questionable or offensive remarks made during that first live, which nonetheless welcomed interesting questions – not all internet users object when television channels arrive on the platform. The sequence of events proves him right: the other BFMTV streams ran much better thanks to a lower number of viewers (around 2,500 compared to 20,000 at the beginning of March) and better moderation. For those who oppose it, there is an unspoken rule circulating, picked up by Samuel Etienne: “If it is not good, you will not look; if you do not look, it will not work”.

Air call

Samuel Etienne “I think we overestimate the adaptability of the historical actors of television and traditional media in order to impose themselves (Twitch, note),” explains the streamer apprentice during the last night of culture, accompanied by stars. “I think that the bridges between TV and Twitch will remain small and that those that are not interesting will not work. (…) France Télévisions does not want to break into this platform, but rather closes small goals in a show create.” This is what the group plans to do during a teens’ night airing on France 2 and Twitch on March 18. The stream enables people to interact with internet users and collect testimonials. At the moment, the France Télévisions report on the platform has one live report and that of BFMTV has five. “We’re currently experimenting,” confirms Julien Mielcarek, “we’re trying things out, we don’t yet know whether it will take a week or a month.” Among these attempts, one direct dedicated to the attack on Titan and another, the words of Marine Le Pen, who was then invited to the set of the 24-hour news channel. Video games Day of Play, only Arte has wagered on a regular meet, every two weeks, with a busy season already. A show of streamers and personalities who know the game industry inside out. “We’re not TV people who land on Twitch,” explains Camille Alexandre, presenter and co-editor of the show. “Arte took the opposite approach.” She and her colleague Théo Le Du have therefore taken the time to explain the platform’s codes to the channel, interactivity of course, but above all closeness. In this context, Julien Mielcarek recommends BFMTV journalists to accept the slightest technical mess live in order to join the “principle of Twitch authenticity”. Day of Play, Arte’s Twitch program dedicated to gaming video

How one

A simplicity that journalists stationed throughout the life of Twitch and who embody a medium cannot necessarily be taken for granted. In the Journal Du Dimanche we learn that France TV is considering some kind of charter of conduct for the group’s editors when they use this type of platform in a personal capacity. The question was put to the company’s chief information officer, Laurent Guimier, after Samuel Etienne said on RMC that he did not want to invite Marine Le Pen to his channel and eventually changed his mind. The journalist even sent a public invitation to the President of the National Rally on Twitter. “Democracy obviously speaks to everyone, including those with whom we disagree,” he wrote at the time. This contradiction between Twitch’s role and codes also applies to policies, including presence that has responded in the past few days even though it’s not new. Many have noticed the tone difference between Prime Minister Jean Castex and François Hollande in the stream of Samuel Etienne, while the ex-president’s invitation had already raised fears, most of which were dispelled due to their naturalness. “At Twitch, the important thing is not to show that you are communicating,” explains Mathieu Cocq, economist, streamer and author of a paper that relates in particular to the platform. According to internet users, this is the trap that Prime Minister Samuel Etienne fell into. The journalist sees the exercise as an instrument of direct democracy. An ideal that Mathieu Cocq nuanced: “With 80,000 viewers (a number surpassed by the live interviews of the two politicians, editor’s note), communication is limited.” The former researcher notes that there are two worlds on Twitch gives: “the one where you can chat directly with the streamer and the one where you talk to other members of the community” because it becomes impossible to read all the comments. Direct with Prime Minister Samuel Etienne and his moderators had limited access to chat on condition of spending 3,500 channel points, a resource the public gained by watching the same streamer frequently, Mathieu Cocq. The problem is that this report asks a lot of questions here. For example, internet users are concerned about how Twitch might weaken our perceptions of certain policies, particularly with regard to the 2022 presidential election. Many also wonder about the role of the CSA, the French authority that regulates the speaking time of state actors on television and on the bike io. Mathieu Cocq now has a more profound change in mind for Twitch audiences, some of which could age. Before the economist draws a conclusion, however, he remains cautious: “We have to see whether this story is not an epiphenomenon.”