What Is Twitch? Everything You Need to Know

Twitch is one of the most popular websites in the digital world, with hundreds of millions of users visiting the live streaming platform every day to watch millions of different Twitch streamers.

The common perception is that Twitch is mainly for video game streaming, but there’s far more happening on Twitch than just gaming. Our guide is a quick, details-packed way to familiarize yourself with this live-streaming giant.

What do people stream on Twitch?

Twitch.tv is a live-streaming website, which means influencers and content creators use it to share their broadcasts in real time. Because millions of users stream and watch videos on the platform, there’s a vast range of content available.

The most trafficked streaming category on Twitch is video games. Within that realm, you can watch gameplay of the most significant new releases, the most popular esports titles (like Call of Duty: WarzoneFortnite, and Overwatch), and niche indie games, along with everything else you can imagine.

Millions of non-gamers use the service to chat with fans, share their cooking, broadcast workout routines, or show off their artwork and crafty hobbies. With so many streams available, you won’t run short of things to watch or places to share your favorite emotes.

How do you find Twitch streams?

The amount of choice can make it hard to know where to start. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to find good streams. The Twitch homepage has featured streams and categories that highlight everything from big-name channels to obscure streams, such as one that live streams a peanut butter jar. The site can help you narrow down the options by suggesting streams based on your viewing habits.

You can also delve into categories to browse streams directly. There are specific pages for common topics like esports and music channels.

It’s worth going beyond the Twitch website to find new streams, too. Most streamers maintain active social media profiles on Instagram, Twitter, and other platforms, so you can find engaging content there. Sites like Reddit are also good for finding entertaining streams.

Once you’ve discovered a channel you want to view again, make sure to follow the page. This will notify you each time it’s about to go live.

The popular game streaming app - Twitch
The popular game streaming app – Twitch.  Photo by Mika Baumeister on Unsplash

How can I watch Twitch?

The main Twitch website is a great way to view streams, but it’s not your only option. There are Twitch mobile apps for Apple iOS and Android, as well as desktop apps for Microsoft Windows and mac OS. 

The Twitch app is also available on PlayStation and Xbox consoles, and on live streaming devices like Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast, and Nvidia Shield. In short, it’s very easy to watch streams. 

What features are available on Twitch?

Live-streaming may be the platform’s main feature, but there are plenty of other ways to make the most of this website.

If you’re a fan of a particular channel, you can follow or subscribe. The former option is free. The latter carries a monthly fee, letting you support your favorite streamers. In exchange, subscribers get special badges and emotes, exclusive chat access, and ad-free streams.

You can also use Twitch with Prime Gaming if you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber. This service includes one channel subscription, exclusive loot, badges, and chat options, and the ability to save broadcasts for longer periods. You’ll even get free monthly games and in-game items in certain titles like League of Legends and Star Wars Squadrons.

All streams are backed by full chat systems. This provides a platform for Twitch users to message each other while watching or during downtime, but just make sure to follow the community guidelines and not share or post any inappropriate content or hate speech.

Those rules are also important if you decide that you want to start streaming on your own channel. And if you do, there’s even an annual convention, called TwitchCon, where fans can meet their favorite streamers and celebrate streaming culture. 

Get the right PC gears for your game live streaming
Game streaming.  Photo by ELLA DON on Unsplash

Can I make a living on Twitch?

There are plenty of broadcasters who make a living on Twitch because their audiences are so vast. Once your account has 50 followers and you have created enough broadcasts, you can become a Twitch Affiliate. That designation lets streamers start making money through advertising and subscriptions. 

The next level up the ladder is Twitch Partner. This tier requires streamers to have larger audiences, but it grants them more advertising and subscription options, along with other perks. 

Entertaining streamers can make a living on Twitch, and they can earn far more money if they’re popular enough. Some people with large followings have become millionaires on Twitch. If streams attract big audiences, there’s plenty of potential for sponsorships and affiliate deals, which can generate even more cash.

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