When Twitch deletes your VOD and chatlog

There are five kinds of Twitch video:

  1. Livestreams
  2. VODs
  3. Clips
  4. Highlights
  5. Premieres, formerly Uploads
  6. Reruns, formerly Uploads and VODcasts

And VODcasts can combine and schedule 2, 4, and 5. Be sure to check out Collections, too, especially once you rack up a few permanent videos. You can also link to collections akin to YouTube playlists, but the UI is pretty terrible so I’d advise against it.

Update Jan 19, 2018: Premieres and Reruns, managed by Video Producer, are now available as more specific Uploads and VODcasts. VODcasts seem to have been replaced by the Video Producer feature that This page will be updated or rewritten to reflect this later. Right now, I’m going to wait a bit to make sure it remains the way it is now since a fair number of streamers aren’t happy with it.

I am working on a draft for a Video Producer guide.

This too shall pass

August 6, 2014, Twitch announced they would start purging VODs after a given period of time. The Highlights feature already existed.

May 26, 2016, Twitch announced the Clips feature.

October 3, 2016, Twitch announced the Uploads feature.

One day, I noticed that some of my—and the community’s—favourite Clips no longer had a chat replay next to the video of the “classic” moment. It turns out that when a Twitch VOD is deleted, the chatlog not just for the VOD, but also all related Clips from it, disappear as well.

As always, Twitch suck at explaining things, and when your most important moments and content disappear as a result, you need to figure things out yourself.

This is how the video types compare:

Video type Video expiration Chat expiration Transcode
VODs 14/60 days 14/60 days During stream
Clips None 14/60 days During stream
Highlights None None During stream
Uploads None Not supported On upload

VODs, Highlights, and Uploads can be clipped and used in VODcasts.

VODs and Uploads support custom thumbnails.

Older, bigger broadcasters like LIRIK got grandfathered in so their VODs don’t get deleted automatically. As a result, neither do the chatlogs.

Some of the things to infer from the table:

Clips vs Highlights

What is even the point of some of these video types? Here’s one way to look at them.

Clips

Highlights

Clips give people an idea of what viewers like about the stream; Highlights give people an idea of what you like about the stream.

A chat caveat

When do people comment on your channel? During streams and for uploads, sure, but you’re forgetting something.

What about when you’re offline? What about when you’re hosting someone?

I don’t think Twitch exposes logs for your chat during downtime, so you’ll basically need to have a bot run and save a log all the time.

Just remember the gaps between your livestreams and uploads and how this matters, if logging chat during those times is important.

And what does this mean for moderation?

This is exhausting

Yes. Yes it is. Here are the main things to consider in light of all this:

There’s no right answer to all these questions.

The most important thing you need to know is what will disappear from your stream and when.

Thanks, Twitch.

Further reading