I made the switch to Microsoft’s Mixer full-time last March. Overall I would have to say the time I’ve had on the platform has been extremely positive, but over this past year, there have been some changes that I’m not really a fan of.
I’ve made some of my best friends on Mixer; this is by no means me trying to degrade the platform in any way. A few of the partners I know have worked their tails off to get to where they are, and I don’t want it to seem like I’m trying to minimize their work. Everyone I know on Mixer is in it for the right reasons and absolutely loves what they do! So this is where I’ll say that all of this is my opinion and doesn’t reflect the thoughts and opinions of other people on the platform.
Mixer I feel right now is in a weird place; it has a lot of promise, but I really do think it’s not being utilized to its full potential. It seems these days a lot of users are experiencing issues across the site as a whole, and some of the problems are legitimately breaking the site for a lot of people. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to sit in a stream, even worse when it’s one that I mod for, and either the video player breaks or the chat is losing a connection every ten to fifteen seconds. In order to get everything working smoothly again, you have to refresh the page numerous times. A few weeks ago I was forced to refresh the page nearly sixty times just to get the chat to work again. If the channel I was on didn’t belong to a good friend of mine that I mod for, I would have left. your average user isn’t going to sit around and hit refresh more than a couple of times to get things working.
On top of this, site performance is inconsistent between browsers. On my main PC, I primarily use Chrome for everything, but when I want to watch streams on Mixer I’m forced to use Vivaldi. It’s not that Vivaldi is bad, I actually like it quite a bit, but performance in Chrome is non-existent. The list of browsers that I’ve tried is growing daily just so I can find one that works everywhere when I need it to.
- Firefox: Works fine from time to time, but FTL needs to be disabled
- Chrome: The site working is so sporadic I no longer use it for Mixer
- Opera: Seems to work fine around 99% of the time. Only has a slight hang up when the stream initially loads up
- Brave: Like Opera, works around 90% of the time
- Vivaldi: Never a problem with any site I throw at it.
I made a point to mention Windows because I also use Linux a lot on my laptop when I’m on the go. The only browser Mixer works on in Linux, for me set up, is Firefox. A matter of fact, the site won’t even load for me on any Chromium-based browser on Linux at all; not even Vivaldi.
Some of you might be reading the title of this section and think I’m calling the Mixer Support team underwhelming. I can assure you that I’ve said on more than one occasion that Mixer has the BEST customer support in the business. Their email support team usually replies to any inquiries in about ten to fifteen minutes after you initially email them.
“I just hit send how did you reply so fast”
-me after hearing back from them so quick
Before all of that was put into motion, sparks were used on channels to interact with an interactive board; a dashboard made by the streamer that enables viewers to interact with the stream and make things pop up on stream. The interactive board, now called MixPlay, was a great way for viewers to mingle with the caster in a way other platforms just don’t have.
Why were the MixPlay buttons important? They allowed almost anyone on the platform to get featured for a short time on the front page on the website! It used to depend on the following:
- how active your chat is
- interactive buttons are enabled
- how often those buttons were being hit
I’ve heard through the grapevine that features are going to be reverted to how they used to be, random and based on the criteria above, but I can’t fully confirm that.
I would like to stress again that I fully believe partners deserve to be paid for all of the work they do both on and off the platform. I don’t want anyone out there thinking I feel otherwise.
To wrap all of this up, it’s safe to say that I still love Mixer as a platform. Do I wish they would change a few things here and there? Of course, I do! Do I think the platform as a whole is doomed? No, not even a little. If anything I would say that Mixer is still a force to be reckoned with, and is a platform that I wish more people knew about; Microsoft should really consider more advertising outside of the Xbox and outside of the US and Canada. It does have some issues, but it’s viewer base and partners are some of the most loyal people I’ve ever met when it comes to believing in a brand. That kind of loyalty means a lot in this business, and I know it’s going to keep Mixer going for years to come.