All the details on the streaming video platform
What sets Twitch apart from the competition like YouTube?
While scrolling through your list of apps on your Smart TV, you probably came across Twitch. Or maybe you learned that the latest esports competition will go live on Twitch. But what exactly is Twitch, and how is it different from competing live video streaming services like YouTube? Android Police is here to help answer these questions by exploring precisely what Twitch is and how to get started with the service/app, while showcasing the best features that make Twitch a live game streaming platform.
What is Twitch?
Twitch is an American live video streaming service owned by Amazon. Twitch.tv was originally Justin.tv, first launched in 2007, which started out as a single channel offering a 24/7 live stream of the life of Justin Kan, but has since grown. later expanded to a network of channels allowing anyone to stream videos online. The games section of the website moved to Twitch, which inevitably led to the closure of Justin.tv to focus on rebranding to Twitch Interactive in 2014; Amazon eventually acquired the service.
Twitch as we know it today is currently populated by millions of viewers, accessing a surplus of categories for channels featuring games (including esports and personal channels), music streams, radio shows, “IRL” (in real life) and other general topics. This is where streamers can earn income on their channels, and personal streamers can easily showcase their activities. Twitch dominates the live content space, beating YouTube, the titan of online video content.
How to Access Twitch
Twitch can be accessed through the official Twitch app or from the official website. You are not required to create an account to view live streamed content. However, you won’t be able to interact with live chat, you won’t be able to follow channels, and you won’t be able to subscribe to streamers. So while an account is not required to enjoy Twitch, it is highly recommended.
If you plan to stream on Twitch, you must have an account to create your own Twitch channel, where the streaming takes place. You have the option to customize your channel by going to the Creator Dashboard to configure your preferred streaming experience.
Twitch offers several robust features that make it one of the best live streaming platforms. We’ve compiled a list highlighting some of the most notable features.
- Public Engagement: Viewers can interact with any streamer, provided permissions are set, anytime they are streaming via live chat. Streamers can set an overlay to include live chat in their stream, increasing the level of viewer engagement. Live chat implements emotes (for subscribers and followers) and custom commands for bots.
- Twitch extensions (or plugins): To further customize the Twitch experience, Twitch can use many extensions/plugins. Extensions can be app/product specific (e.g. Prime Gaming, Spotify Playlist), create an overlay for your stream (esports can use to display dashboards), social tools to include translation and localization, access to Twitch polls and game-specific plugins to include information and mini-games.
- Categories: We are ultimately here for the content, both for viewing and for creating. Categories separate purpose from content, making channel navigation much easier; categories can include specific games or a general social category, “Just Chatting”.
- Live broadcast: Twitch offers content creators the opportunity to earn enough money to make a living from streaming, although it can still take a lot of work (and luck) to grow your channel. Viewers can follow your channel, subscribe and donate bits (virtual currency exchanged for real money). Streamers can also receive rewards, like real money, through the Twitch Affiliate and Partner Program, but no one can sign up; you will need to apply for the program after completing the requirements.
- Alerts and Saved Channels: Viewers can receive alerts when a streamer goes live following a channel. Watched channels are saved in a library and you can access all watched channels through a personal list. Once logged into Twitch, you will also receive alerts on your Android and desktop app when a followed streamer goes live.
- Audience Rewards: You can link accounts with other gaming apps or even Prime Gaming to access rewards like free games and loot. Some rewards are also acquired by spending a few hours watching a category; streamers allow drops in their channel, and this can include access to beta keys, exclusive in-game items, and more.
Twitch is a live entertainment venue
Twitch is one of the most popular platforms for live streaming content. not only will you get your fill of games, but it’s also a place to socially connect with content creators and personal streamers. Another benefit of using Twitch as a social tool is the ability to focus on your favorite hobbies. At the same time, you will have the opportunity to meet and interact with streamers and viewers who share your common interests. Twitch is everywhere, and because it’s all under the Amazon umbrella, it integrates well with other Amazon apps and services, like how Amazon Luna offers built-in support for Twitch.