Twitch is a video streaming platform that is owned by Amazon. It dates back to 2011 and has become a platform that is populated by a wide and varied audience. This is a place where traditionally any person could ‘perform’ live sharing their gameplay in front of an audience. On the flip side, anybody could come along and watch people live stream their gameplay. Twitch can be used to earn money and many streamers work on the platform on a full-time basis, sometimes live streaming to an audience of thousands. Others will live stream to their friends after work or school, when the kids are in bed or whenever they get a break, sometimes to less than 5 people at a time. They do it for fun and perhaps because they have a dream of making it into a career one day. Twitch isn’t a small platform, there are just under a million people watching Twitch broadcasts at any time throughout the day and night.
Twitch Continues to Grow and Develop
Over the years, Twitch has evolved. Gaming broadcasts and streamers are still the backbones of the ‘community’, but it’s no longer limited to video game content. Some Twitch streamers live stream their freelance work, show off their artistry be it in painting or textiles. You’ll see streamers working on graphic designs, knitting, writing, dancing, exercising, all sorts of things are shared with audiences of all sizes. People use the platform to educate an audience, they cook recipes live and even eat their meals with their followers. ‘IRL’ streams, which stands for ‘In Real Life’ is similar to vlogging on YouTube. This is when the normal daily activities of a person or persons is shared with an audience. It could be tidying the home, doing makeup, walking up a mountain, anything can be streamed so long as there’s an internet connection available and it’s within Twitch’s terms of service. The difference between a vlog on YouTube and an IRL stream is that it’s live and any communication with the audience happens in real time. This live interactivity is what sets it apart from other broadcasting platforms and why it’s so exciting.
Communicating with Real People in Real Time
The real-time interaction with real people sets Twitch apart from all other platforms. During streams, the viewers can communicate directly with the streamer and the other viewers by typing in chat. There are some exceptions to this rule, but in general, this is how it works. It is through this communication that friendships and communities are formed.
Twitch isn’t just for individuals, businesses are involved too. eSports live stream tournaments and even other brands (especially those that have an audience in the gaming community) use the platform to increase their own communities too. Basically, if you market to millennials it’s worth checking out how you can make Twitch work for you. As a Twitch affiliated streamer, I’ll be sharing my own personal thoughts on the best ways for brands to begin integrating Twitch into their digital marketing strategies in the weeks to come.