In 2005, a few college students were brainstorming for a class project. The idea they came up with was a website that would serve as “the front page of the internet.” The rest is history. Nearly two decades later, it’s one of the most popular places on the web, and for good reason. As an aggregated news and social platform, an endless number of subreddit communities now exist. They’re indicated with /r/ followed by a word or phrase that describes the interest or focus of the community. Some subreddits, like /r/AMA — Ask Me Anything — can be fun, helpful, entertaining or informative. Others, like /r/photoshobattles, can get downright ridiculous. If you’re a livestreamer, though, you might be very interested in /r/livestreamFail — with over 1.3 million members. It has a close cousin called /r/livestreamFails (over 63k members). Both communities allow people to post streamers’ livestream fails to Reddit.

A livestream fail is exactly what it sounds like. When a person is running a livestream of any sort, and something unexpected or embarrassing happens, it’s a fail. It’s usually embarrassing, dramatic, comical or awkward, and the entire audience watches it happen. On /r/livestreamFail, members post livestream fail clips to Reddit for all to see. The posting member gains or loses “karma” as their posts are voted up or down by the community. If you’re a livestream fan but can’t watch lengthy streams, these aggregated forums are a great way to keep up. You can stay involved without much time invested. 

Why would a livestreamer want to participate in this?

As a livestreamer, regardless of your preferred platform, your goal is to increase your audience and engagement. This often means marketing across multiple platforms to draw in new viewers and gain recognition. When you’re active on Reddit, new fans who discover you there can follow your main account(s) elsewhere. They can share and cross-post your Reddit content, too. This is a good opportunity for sharing your own best livestream fail clips. Why? Because it’s an easy push for more attention. 

Also, there is a lot of power in niches for newbies with small followings. You might benefit from having a few really popular livestream fail clips posted on /r/livestreamFail. Even some streamers seem to create fails intentionally for this type of self-promotion.

The chances are good that your friends are on Reddit already. You can vote or comment on their posts and interact with members. Once you’ve reached a few requirements, you can even create your own subreddit community. Doing this, in addition to other self-promoting steps, can help to further your brand awareness. Additionally, the community standards allow only recent content in new posts. That makes it a great way to expand your brand’s focus on whatever you’re currently up to.

What are the pitfalls and downsides?

Many things can go wrong while livestreaming. Having such laughable moments exploited online can be fun, but it can also be perilous. For example, spilling your milkshake all over yourself while streaming is a little embarrassing. Using it to get a lot of views, laughs and votes on Reddit may be worthwhile. However, a clip of a wardrobe malfunction during your livestream might gain the same views, laughs and votes, but it will likely leave you feeling vulnerable and violated. Additionally, having your name or brand attached to it can get you flagged or suspended from some sites. While there are community rules to govern subreddits, clips can be up on the subreddit for any length of time before a moderator takes it down.

Comments on the clips pose a potential risk as well. Many subreddits have reputations for being a place for bullying, bigotry, toxicity and general meanness; /r/livestreamFail is no exception. A few laughs and teasing can quickly turn dark.

Plus, when viewers only see a brief clip of your livestream, it’s easy for them to take things out of context. A mistake that may have been innocent could get twisted negatively. Even though the post can be removed, the recovery can be taxing — personally and professionally.

The bottom line

Subreddits like /r/livestreamFail and /r/livestreamFails offer an unusual community of Reddit members who thrive on creators’ livestream fails, whether they want it or not. Online public opinion can be very destructive. Although that sounds awful on the surface, we’ve discussed some of the ways you can use your fail clips to your advantage.

At the end of the day, how and where you market yourself and promote your channel or brand is up to you. Nevertheless, you’ll need to consider the possible outcomes of all sides. Weigh the pros and cons. Look at the ways that your brand and future as a content creator may be impacted. Then, decide what’s best for you and your goals as a creator and as a person.