Do you remember being a kid and watching your friends play video games while eagerly awaiting your turn? That’s pretty much what Twitch is all about, except now you can watch almost anyone play anything!
This live streaming service brings video game lovers together to watch and create their own entertainment from the comfort of their homes. If you want to know more about Twitch, check out my complete guide!
What Is Twitch In 2023?
Twitch is an American live video streaming service as of 2023. Founded in 2011, Twitch focuses on video game streaming and offers music broadcasts, creative content, and “in real life” streams. Gamers, or streamers, broadcast their content while providing running commentary on the action. Twitch attracts 140 million visitors monthly.
There’s a lot more to know about this popular site, so be sure to keep reading!
What Is Twitch Used For?
Twitch is a video streaming platform offering users a fun, social way to watch people play video games 24/7.
Further, users watch matches (called streams) through the Twitch app and online at Twitch.tv.
In addition to following the gaming action, users enjoy the running commentary on the games. Also, there are e-sports tournaments to cheer for and celebrities to watch.
While most Twitch streams are video-game related, some users perform music, teach art, or live stream their day-to-day lives.
Moreover, one of Twitch’s major selling points is that content creators (Twitchers) interact directly with their audience through the chat function.
How Do I Join Twitch?
To sign up for an account, go to https://www.twitch.tv and click on the “Sign Up” button in the top right corner of the screen.
After that, this will open the sign-up form you’ll need to fill out. Next, you’ll be asked to provide a username, password, date of birth, and either a phone number or an email address.
Finally, creating an account allows you to add your favorite channels to a follow list (like subscribing to a YouTube channel) and participate in each stream’s unique chatroom.
Where Can I Watch Twitch Streams?
You can watch Twitch streams from the Twitch website and via one of the official Twitch apps available for the following devices:
- Xbox 360
- Xbox One
- Sony’s PlayStation 3 and 4
- Amazon’s Fire TV
- Google Chromecast Roku
- NVIDIA SHIELD
Additionally, content can be viewed live or via video on demand (like YouTube).
Does Twitch Cost Money?
Downloading the Twitch app and watching videos is completely free and doesn’t require a login. That said, there are extra features and services you can pay for on the Twitch platform.
For example, Twitch users can subscribe to a channel to financially support a content creator. Moreover, these subscriptions come in three tiers, with the following price points:
- Tier One: $4.99
- Tier Two: $9.99
- Tier Three: $24.99
In the most basic sense, subscribing to a creator allows them to pay for their living and working expenses to keep creating content.
But, the benefits of subscriptions don’t end there. For example, subscribing gives users:
- Ad-free content
- Access to streamer-specific emojis (emotes) only available to subscribers of that channel
- Subscriber badges (special icons shown alongside a subscriber’s username within the respective channel’s chat room)
- Exclusive chat room access
- Access to subscriber-only competitions hosted by the streamer
Further, there isn’t too much difference between the built-in features for each tier.
However, those subscribed to tier two may receive an extra emote, and those in tier three may get two bonus emotes. Ultimately, what you get depends on the creator.
Additionally, subscriptions are charged monthly, quarterly, or bi-annually and renew on the same day each month.
Another paid feature of Twitch is Bits. Bits, also called Cheer Bits, are the platform’s internal currency. With Bits, viewers can use them to cheer on and support streamers.
When you cheer, your chat message will display an animated emote. If you use several Bits, your message will be more visible to the streamer and other viewers.
Also, Twitch sells Bits in packages with prices ranging from $1.40 for 100 Bits to $308 for 25,000 Bits.
Is Twitch A Social Network?
When it was first introduced, Twitch was strictly a live-streaming platform. However, as the platform has grown and evolved, it has more and more features resembling social networks.
For example, Twitch users can follow and message each other. In addition, each stream has a dedicated chatroom where users can connect.
Finally, the Pulse feature acts as a Facebook or Twitter timeline, allowing users to post status updates and like, share, and comment on what others have written.
Moreover, these features are accessible via the official Twitch mobile apps, putting the gaming platform in direct competition with other social media platforms.
What Age Of People Is Twitch For?
You must be at least 13 years old to register for a Twitch account.
In addition, those aged between 13 and 18 can only use Twitch if their parent or guardian agrees to Twitch’s terms of service.
On top of the terms laid out in Twitch’s terms and conditions, parents should spend some time on the platform deciding which streams and creators are appropriate for their children.
That said, there are a couple of reasons for this.
As a live-streaming platform, Twitch is inherently unpredictable. So, streamers may use adult language or address mature subject matter.
What’s more, Twitch doesn’t offer traditional parental control options.
Still, there are ways to view only approved content. For example, parents can use the “Sort and Filter” menu on the “Browse” tab to apply content tags like “Family Friendly.”
Also, you can use the app’s search tool (the magnifying glass icon in the upper right corner) to type in family-friendly games like “Mario” or “Minecraft.”
Still, if you’re worried about children seeing inappropriate language or content in the chat window, simply hide the chat feature by tapping the speech bubble icon in the corner of the video.
Another way to limit inappropriate content is by blocking or reporting channels or other users. To block a user, click on their username, then the three vertical dots menu icon.
Next, select “Block Username” and confirm the block.
To report a channel or user, click on the same vertical dots, then “Report” to open the “Report User” form and fill out a description of the incident.
Who Uses Twitch?
In terms of age, 73% of Twitch users are below age 35. Further, here’s a more detailed breakdown of Twitch’s age demographics:
- 16 to 24-year-olds: 41%
- 25 to 34-year-olds: 32%
- 35 to 44-year-olds: 17%
- 45 to 54-year-olds: 7%
- 55 to 64-year-olds: 3%
As an American company, it’s no surprise that Americans make up the largest percentage of Twitch users. Still, here’s a table of the top five Twitch-viewing countries:
- United States: 20.83%
- Germany: 7.11%
- Korea: 4.53%
- Russia: 4.30%
- France: 4.11%
How Do You Find Twitch Streamers?
Perhaps the easiest way to discover Twitch streamers is by checking out Twitch’s recommendations on the website’s front page or app.
Otherwise, you can discover new Twitch channels by browsing the “Games” category. By clicking the category, you can find streamers based on the games they play.
Additionally, this option is available on the Twitch website and all app versions.
Still, other ways to find streamers include browsing categories like Communities, Popular, Creative, and Discover.
With each of these categories, you can find them in the “Browse” section of the main site, but not all are present in the Twitch app.
On the other hand, if you already know the name of a Twitch streamer you’d like to follow, click on the search bar in the top middle of the Twitch page (on PC) or the top right corner (on mobile).
Then, type in their name. Once their name appears, click on it, and the website or app will take you to their channel.
In addition to finding streamers on the Twitch platform, social media is also a great place to look. With that, many popular streamers are active on Twitter and Instagram.
To find streamers on social media apps, try searching for hashtags like #twitchstream, #twitchstreamer, or #streamer.
Also, using social media is an effective way to find streams based on their personality and interests, something that’s hard to do directly on Twitch.
How Much Money Do You Make On Twitch?
How much you make on Twitch depends on several factors:
- Number of subscribers
- Number of video views (daily and lifetime)
- Number of minutes streamed
- Engagement rate
On the low end, earners on Twitch typically make between $50 to $1,500 per month.
However, more successful streamers make about $3,000 to $5,000 per month, while top streamers can make hundreds of thousands per month.
Most streamers make money from subscriptions, Bit donations, and affiliate links.
Also, top streamers earn money from these sources but make additional income from sponsorships and YouTube.
With that, streamers receive 50% of subscription fees (Twitch keeps the other half), which range from $4.99 to $24.99 per subscription.
Bits, or Cheer Bits, are an internal Twitch currency worth one cent each. So, streamers earn 100% of their Bit donations.
Finally, in terms of affiliate sales, streamers can add a “Buy Now” button for the game they’re playing.
Then, if someone purchases a game by clicking on the button, the streamer earns 5% of the sale.
How Do I Make Money On Twitch?
To make money on Twitch, you’ll need to become a Twitch Affiliate. Below you’ll find a list of requirements to become an Affiliate.
Moreover, you must have had all of the following during the previous 30 days:
- At least 50 followers
- An average of three or more concurrent (simultaneous) viewers
- At least seven unique broadcast days
- At least 500 minutes of broadcast
After completing these requirements, you should receive an Affiliate invitation via email or in your account’s notification area.
Usually, it takes people about three months of consistent streaming to reach the Affiliate status.
In addition to the Affiliate status, Twitch offers its top streamers the opportunity to become Twitch Partners.
To become a partner, you need to have accomplished the following during the past 30 days:
- Have an average of at least 75 concurrent viewers
- At least 12 unique broadcast days
- At least 25 hours of broadcast
Once you’ve completed these requirements, you’ll need to submit an application. Also, keep in mind that it’s challenging to become a Partner.
For example, of the current 9.5 million monthly streamers, fewer than 50,000 are Partners.
Still, if you’re serious about earning big money on Twitch, achieving Partner status is the way to do it.
For instance, Partners receive 75% of their subscription revenues, earn money from ads, and access additional money-making opportunities like promotions and sponsorships.
Who Owns Twitch?
In August of 2014, Amazon acquired Twitch for $970 million.
With that, this acquisition allowed Amazon to use its existing web services to support Twitch’s ever-increasing number of daily visitors and promote long-term growth.
Although this partnership didn’t change the face of Twitch too significantly, it has led to evolutions on the platform.
Most notably, the partnership led to the introduction of Bits, a digital currency purchased through Amazon used to make micro-donations to streamers.
Twitch Prime, a premium gaming experience that includes bonus games and exclusive in-game content, was another outcome of the Amazon-Twitch partnership.
Even though Twitch hasn’t been around for long, it’s already made huge waves in the live streaming and gaming communities.
Thanks to its easy-to-use platform and freemium model, there’s something for everyone, regardless of age, budget, or skill level.
Because of the early success, Twitch will likely continue to grow as Millennials increase their buying power and Gen Z users come of age.
Still, no one knows what the future holds for sure, but there’s a good chance Twitch’s will be bright.