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The one video based platform that recently started giving YouTube a run for its money was Twitch. After being sold to Amazon in 2014, Twitch became expansive in nature. It opened pathways to paid advertisements by major companies like Coke, Od Spice and even Bud Light. The more the time passes, the more the popularity and buzz that surrounds Twitch increases. Just recently, it was able to cock in over 15 million viewers on a daily basis. It has truly become a phenomenon.

What is Twitch exactly?

Twitch is an online live streaming video platform. It was initially dominated by video gamers who would live stream matches of games like League of Legends, Fortnight, PUBG and so many more. 

It was purchased by Amazon in 2014 for nearly a billion dollars. Not too long afterwards, in 2016, Twitch was added to Prime Offerings which meant that the types of content that users could live stream was increased. It now ranges from cooking shows, talk shows (including podcasts and even panel discussions), brewing videos and can even extend to tutorials and demos. 

Additionally, it also aids communication through the various chat rooms that are connected with a particular stream. This allows people from all over the world to come together for a shared interest and passion. 

The nature of this new platform is such that it is constantly developing and evolving thus catering to all kinds of people. Just recently, new features like In Real Life (IRL) were introduced which allow streams to document their daily routines and hobbies. 

Is it monetized? 

You don’t need to have a gaming console to be part of the Twitch family, even those who play on their mobiles or iPads can join in on the live streaming and potentially earn thousands of dollars. While created completely free initially, it was developed so that users, and more importantly streamers, could benefit off of the popularity that the website was gaining. Out of the millions that use Twitch, thousands can generate enough money to sustain themselves monthly. 

Programs like Twitch Partner, allow for streamers to add particular features like paid subscriptions. Similarly, like many other video based platforms, Twitch also recently opened doors to advertisements and trademark interactivity. This means that users can buy Twitch Bits that can be used for various things like getting a streamer to read a personal message as they stream. They could even create a custom emoji and, if they want, they can donate to the streamer as well. 

Where can you find Twitch?

You can watch live stream videos on Twitch’s official website and through its application, which is available for all sorts of software and mediums ranging from mobiles, iPad and laptops to even gaming consoles. 

Streaming videos is absolutely free for the general public. Becoming a member of the Twitch Family however, would involve you making an account. That would allow you to subscribe to your favorite streamers, much like on YouTube, and create and participate in various chat rooms.

A similar algorithm used by Twitch as that by platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. It helps create streamer recommendations based on your interests and hobbies. 

Why has it become so popular?

There are many reasons that explain the upsurge of people turning towards Twitch. It popularity can be attributed towards factors like:

  1. Its Inclusive Nature

No matter what your tastes are, you will find something that you like of Twitch. It has now become known as one of the platforms that caters wider interests of its users. Retro or old games can be viewed just as easily as main stream games. This allows for people to learn about games, become acquainted with strategies and enjoy the entertainment that ensues. Additionally, its nature is such that you can carry out real conversations with people across the globe with different perspectives. So the purpose of Twitch even advances into a social networking phase. 

  1. The Rise of E-Sports 

Another reason that attributes heavily towards the rising popularity of Twitch is the success of e-sports. Many tournaments and conventions are organized and Twitch has strategically made partnerships that ensure that the broadcasting of the events is done through Twitch. This caused a greater number of people to turn towards the website looking for coverage of talks and informational sessions. 

  1. Constant Development

There was a time when Twitch was just limited to desktops and laptops as one could only access it through the website via the internet. Since most of the games were played through consoles, streamers had to go through a lot of trouble to be able to live stream their games. However, their insistence on doing so lead to a deal with Sony and Microsoft after which Twitch was a feature included in many consoles like the Xbox and PS. Even the creation of the application allowed users to stream via their phones and viewers to watch as well. The constantly evolving nature of the platform continues to generate users thus contributing to its popularity. 

  1. Its Pure Entertainment 

The joy of watching a video game being played, the anticipation and emotions that it induces, is like no other. Many people can spend hours appreciating the skill that is being displayed. It can even prove to be a fun activity because of the inclusion of narration; quirky, sarcastic and funny remarks can make the experience all the more exciting, especially for gaming enthusiasts. It is just like going to the stadium to watch a sport, except the stadium is your home and you are twice as comfortable!

  1. It Feels Real 

The way Twitch works is what makes it so unique. Due to the fact that it is a live stream, there is no room for rehearsal or edits. This means that what you are watching is in its purest form. This is something that coincides with the viewers as that how it is when they play; you make mistakes and error that could cost you the entire game and make you start again. The authenticity sells!

How can you use Twitch?

You may be thinking; how does Twitch work? Do I just need to put in key words in the search bar or so I need to follow a particular streamer before I can watch their videos? Can I upload videos directly or does it involve some sort of memebership?

The great thing about Twitch is its user friendly interface. There is not much that you need to do in order to be able to watch videos and live streams. Just follow the following steps:

  • Open the website 
  • Create an account 

Once you decide to create your account, it will be tailored to your interests in the longer term. Additionally, it is always better to opt for creating an account. This is so that not only can you be part of the chatrooms but also contribute to the streamers that make Twitch as entertaining for you as it is.

  • Create your profile

Your profile is your personality. You can add pictures, visuals, and bio and much more once you have created your account.

  • Set up your channel

Your channel is where you will be able to view your suggested videos and review your uploads. It is also the page that your viewers will see if you decide to become one of the many streamers. 

  • Find others to follow!

Once you have done everything, the real joy begins. You can follow streamers and watch their live streams or you can start one of your own. You Twitch journey starts here! 

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