“274! Oh Lord. » Half euphoric, half stunned, the amateur videographer at the controls of the Twitch channel xXen_os counts the people who are watching him play live on Thursday, August 4. The young man in his twenties who was then active in video games xenoblade chronicles 3 not used to such an audience: “I have always made five or six spectators [spectateurs], and often friends. So it wasn’t the same. I’m shaking here! » he exclaims jokingly.
This anonymous found himself in the spotlight by surprise thanks to PetitStream.com. This site streams live content from French-speaking Twitch channels with fewer than five viewers. For ten minutes, the site’s users (up to 400 or 500 people at the height of the day) arrive, all at the same time, on a completely randomly chosen channel. They are invited to watch the channel, to comment on it, to argue with the cameraman, who is usually not used to arousing so much interest. Before everyone disappears at the end of the countdown, collectively jumping to the next small channel selected by Petit Stream. In short, a 2022 version of the famous “Warholian quarter of an hour”.
The uneven distribution of views on Twitch
The aim of Petit Stream is to encourage these videographers with confidential audiences, while introducing the public to new channels, he explains to the World Jean-Philippe, its creator. The idea germinated in the mind of this 33-year-old Twitch fanatic after reading an article from the World released in 2021 and titled “In the recesses of Twitch, the world playing streamers with no viewers.” One stat caught his eye: 95% of streamers produce content for five people or fewer.
He bemoans the gulf that separates a gondola-headed minority on the Amazon-owned platform and the invisible majority that drives it. “Some are not lucky enough to be promoted when they are already very professional. They have designed skins and feel very comfortable in front of the camera”, details the self-entrepreneur who developed the project in his spare time. A project that explains does not want to monetize.
Launched surreptitiously on July 30 and shared without fanfare on r/france, the main francophone page of the popular Reddit discussion forum, the site immediately garners buzz. To the point that, in Discord’s online messaging system, the server dedicated to Petit Stream attracts 1,600 people in less than a week.
“What is your favourite salad? »
The dynamism of the fans is evident in the chat on the Twitch pages displayed on the Petit Stream. Asked by curious and enthusiastic viewers, the questions to streamers are coming: what games do you recommend? How old are they ? Where they live ? Or, more unexpectedly, “What is your favourite salad? “. A recurring theme, first launched as a joke, which today fuels great discussions.
Viewers are also in charge of explaining to the bewildered streamers what is happening to them. “We came to spend ten minutes with you and we are not robots! » warns a message published on Friday, August 5 in the chat. In fact, some incredulous streamers imagine that the unexpected increase in views is due to “bots” (robots) that generate false views on Twitch, and can be annoyed by them. Sometimes phlegmatic when trying to stay focused despite the influx of viewers, often stunned to be the subject of so much attention, streamers (for the most part) are above all always very excited to benefit, even ten minutes time, with a popularity normally only enjoyed by their own idols.
And then, at the end of the ten minute countdown, Petit Stream plays. Is the game ! Then your audience is automatically redirected to another account. But these few minutes are enough for some streamers to seduce their short-lived audience, who sometimes linger or even subscribe. “Hopefully, I’ll make it to fifty [abonnés] », I hope xXen_os. Mission accomplished at the end of his time under the spotlight. He is also delighted to see that of the more than 270 people connected, about sixty have chosen to stay on his channel to hear him talk about his boundless passion for Japanese RPGs.
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