Mixer changes the way it makes its clips: it lets its verified Partners decide who can create them, along with adding better editing functionality to the clipping function itself. Streamers can choose who can cut their streams based on their channel progression rank – actually a loyalty program that you enter by viewing the streams of a channel.
"We know that making clips available to any viewer can sometimes produce contextual or low-quality clips, and we believe in giving partners more control over their community," Mixer product marketing manager Ben Favreau wrote in a press release.
The natural idiom of video online is it clamp: a spicy, snackable hit from video that, when done properly, is something delicious or surprising to share with the people in your life. (Links are a language of love.) On live streaming platforms such as Twitch and Mixer, they are often the only way those services communicate with the wider internet; streams are generally measured in hours, and as a matter of course – they are live – they are not edited. Clips, on the other hand, act as portable highlights (more bite-sized than YouTube uploads) that can break out of the streaming ecosystem and possibly reach a certain degree of virality.
The idea is that by giving Partners more control over who can make clips, more and better clips are made – and it gives them a different, more detailed form of control over their channels. Another consequence: the move is likely to carry at least part of the risk of intimidation clips, because limiting who can make clips also limits the content therein – it will be harder to arm them to embarrass streamers or intimidate, if only one of the biggest streamer fans they can make. (And it will be a little harder to end up with the infamous r / Livestreamfail from Reddit.)
Twitch, on the other hand, has one clipping function, but it is not (yet) gated; anyone can make clips. However, you can remove clips from your channel that other people have created, and their system has moderation options that streamers can take – such as 24-hour user timeout, forbidding them to create clips in your channel, or even remove all clips from a video.
Live streaming is already a high-wire act; there are no guidelines that go beyond what is described in the terms of service of a site, and the chance of slipping and saying something that you probably shouldn't do if you stream to your fans in real time. That means that Mixer's clip changes actually just give streamers a new way to self-edit – something that, according to Favreau, Mixers Partners has asked for, and something that generally needs streaming. Because in 2019 it is clearer than ever that going viral is a sword with one side.