Twitch is the most popular streaming platform for gamers on a global scale. You start playing a video game and you launch a stream from your computer, smartphone or console. Other members of the community might be interested in watching it because they also love this game — and you can show them how to make the most of it. Otherwise, they might simply enjoy a beautiful and dynamic video.
Viewers can see both the video and the person who’s playing it. Also, they can follow the streamer’s comments on the gaming process. The layout of the Twitch main page resembles YouTube to a large extent.
If you want to stream on Twitch, you don’t need to limit yourself exclusively to games. The platform also offers such content categories as Sports, Music, Talk Shows, Just Chatting, Food & Drink, Travel & Outdoors or Special Events. To make it easier for viewers to find Twitch streams on a certain topic, you should put relevant hashtags to your content. Nevertheless, this platform is not as versatile as YouTube or TikTok and remains primarily targeted at gamers. The length of a stream might vary from one minute to a few hours.
In February 2020, there were 3.8 million unique broadcasters on Twitch and this number keeps growing. To become a streamer, one needs to be at least 13 years old. Users who have not yet come of age can only use the platform under the supervision of a parent or legal guardian who agrees to be bound by the Terms of Service. However, many games belong to the 18+ category and might contain either scenes of violence or sexually explicit content.
What features are available on Twitch
The scope of available features depends on your user status. When you launch your first-ever Twitch stream, only two features are active: you can chat with your streamers and people can follow you. Your followers can get notifications when you go online if they enable this function.
If you stream at least 7 days and 8 hours every month, you automatically reach Affiliate status. You need to have at least 3 average viewers per stream and a minimum of 50 followers. Affiliates can unlock the following features.
- Subscription. You can ask people to pay to follow you — and you can distribute different perks among them for that.
- Subscriber badges. To rep their fandom, subscribers to your channel can use customized chat badges.
- Emote slots. You’ll get access to only a few of them. The platform contains a rich library of emotes that are ready to use. Plus, you will be able to create custom ones.
- Ad revenue. You’ll start making money on your channel.
Apart from getting revenue from ads, you can get tips from your viewers. These tips are called Cheers. They are paid in Bits, the virtual currency of Twitch. Users can buy Bits with regular currency through PayPal or Amazon. To tip a streamer, the viewer needs to type the word “cheer” in the chat and indicate the number of Bits that they would like to send. Most users accompany their Bits with cheermotes. Streamers can easily identify those viewers who send them the most Bits and can express their gratitude to them.
If you stream at least 12 days and 25 hours every month, you might be eligible for the Partner status. Unlike the Affiliate status, you won’t get it automatically. You’ll need to submit an application through the dashboard.
The Partner status enables you to unlock the following features, in addition to the ones that you already had.
- Verified badge. It confirms your identity and adds authority.
- Custom cheermotes. These are animated emotes for viewers.
Plus, you’ll be able to use more slots and subscriber badges than before.
If viewers want to chat among themselves and with the streamer, they can use the open chat. When you submit a message there, anyone who watches that particular broadcast will be able to read it and reply to it. Besides, you can use private messages that only you and the recipient can see. If you don’t want to receive messages from a certain stranger, you can block them.
Can I make a living on Twitch
Some streamers manage to earn good money on Twitch gaming. Yet the competition is fierce and you’ll need to put a lot of effort into promoting yourself. To start earning, you should meet the following requirements.
- Have an interesting personality and a unique style.
- Ensure top-notch quality of your streams.
- Invest some money and efforts into attracting people to your Twitch channel.
And most importantly, you need to meet the requirements of the platform, as was described in the section with features. Download the Twitch app, launch your favorite game and join the global community of online gaming streamers!