What is Twitch? When twitch isn’t just for gamers
You are already shopping on Amazon. You are watching the latest movies on Prime Video. You ask Alexa to play your favorite songs.
Amazon has already penetrated every aspect of your digital life. But … do you watch your favorite streamers on Twitch?
If you are not familiar with Twitch, you may have at least heard of it.
As you probably guessed, Twitch is owned by Amazon. The e-commerce giant acquired Twitch in 2014 for $ 970 million. If you are an internet veteran, you may have heard of its predecessor, Justin.TV, which was an early platform for live streaming. The founders of this early version of what is now known as Twitch saw just how popular live streaming was in the gaming community. This is how Twitch was born.
If you only know one thing about Twitch from the chatter, it is that it is incredibly popular in the video game community. But over the years, Twitch has found a broader audience – both within other niche communities and the mainstream – which has made it more than just a platform for gamers.
Here’s everything you need to know about Twitch.
According to the Amazon-owned company, over 30 million daily visitors watch some of the 7 million content creators who stream content on Twitch each month. YouTube, the video giant owned by Google, is Twitch’s biggest competitor. But while there are some overlaps, the two platforms are completely different.
Twitch is a live streaming platform. Although YouTube offers live streaming features, most creators create finished videos and upload them to the service. Conversely, some Twitch creators upload videos, but the vast majority of them stream live.
As I mentioned earlier, Twitch is known for its gaming streams. But as the platform grew in popularity, other creators joined it. On Twitch, you can find broadcasts of political debates, musical performances and hangouts with the creators.
Twitch may tire new users a bit, but let’s get this straight.
Upon arrival on Twitch.tv, users are greeted with multiple video streams from the channels currently streaming live. To find specific content, click Browse and you can filter channels based on which video game the streamer is playing. Non-gaming content is sorted into more general categories such as Sports and Politics, but most non-game creators simply broadcast content in the Just Communication category.
Once you find a creator you like, you will be taken to their Twitch channel to watch their stream.
In the middle of the screen, you’ll find a live video followed by the channel details with information about the stream, social media links, and ways to support the creator.
On the left-hand side, Twitch recommends other channels it thinks you’ll like based on your story, along with the Twitch channels that fans of the channel you’re currently watching frequently visit. And on the right you will find a live chat.
If you like streamers and want to be notified when they go live, Twitch’s terminology can be confusing if you use YouTube regularly. A “subscription” to Twitch is actually a paid subscription to that channel. If you want to stay up to date with streamer news without becoming a paid member, you need to click the Subscribe button.
But suppose you really want to provide monetary support to the creator! Then you are looking for “Subscription”. Twitch subscriptions start at $ 4.99 and include bonuses like ad-free browsing, subscriber-only badges, and special emoji-like badges called emotes that can be used in live chat. You can also support the creator and share the benefits with other users by giving paid subscriptions.
Are you an Amazon Prime subscriber? Then here’s where some of the benefits come in that might surprise you! Just connect your Amazon Prime account to your Twitch account and you will have access to bonus game content for new games every month. Plus, every month you can subscribe to one of your favorite streamers at no additional cost, but they will still be paid $ 4.99 for your free membership.
Twitch also provides the ability to financially support your favorite creators through Bits. Basically, these are one-time donations that viewers can make to creators during a live stream to show their support. Each bit is roughly a penny given to the creator.
Anyone can stream on Twitch. Just create an account, start your channel and start live.
However, just like YouTube, streamers can also get paid for their content. So, if you’re a creator looking to make money from any of the aforementioned monetized features, here’s what you need to do to become a Twitch affiliate or partner.
To become a Twitch partner, you need to stream at least 7 times for a total duration of 500 minutes, with an average of at least 3 concurrent viewers within 30 days. In addition, at least 50 users must subscribe to your channel.
This is by far the easiest way to monetize your Twitch channel.
Becoming a Twitch partner is a little tricky. Creators must broadcast at least 12 times for a total of 25 hours and an average of 75 viewers per stream. Once you have done that, you can apply to be part of the Twitch Affiliate Program. Affiliates get additional streaming options through affiliates. Most notably, Twitch keeps its streams for two months for video-on-demand instead of the usual 14 days.
One extremely interesting feature that Twitch provides its creators has also recently become one of the most controversial: raids.
When the Twitch creator finishes their broadcast, they have the option to send all of their current viewers to a live stream of their choice. Sounds cool, right? Unfortunately, some users use raids in bad faith. Twitch streamers have gone so far as to protest Twitch’s inaction over the spread of “hate raids,” in which a streamer sends his viewers to raid a channel to spread hate messages and disrupt chat.