Twitch is one of the most prominent streaming services around, serving as a platform primarily for video game and pop culture streamers.
- Native support for a variety of popular games
- Affiliate program allows streamers to earn money
- Runs as a desktop client
- The most popular app for online games streaming
- Adjustable bandwidth makes it easy to view streams even with slower connections
- Highly affordable to both streamers and viewers
- Mobile broadcasting isn't supported
- Basic accounts are monetized through the inclusion of advertisements
Games are best played with friends, but the manner in which gamers interact with their fans has changed dramatically over the years. Couch co-op has given way to online multiplayer gaming, and that has developed into a healthy competitive e-sports scene. Twitch is designed to allow gamers to share their experiences, becoming the preeminent platform for competitive professionals, speed runners, and Let's Play commentators. As it's grown, it's also become a major competitor to the celebrity YouTube community. Online personalities are now using Twitch to spread their name brand appeal by engaging in other pop culture exercises like reviews and classic TV marathons. This flexibility creates a platform that's only as limited as the imaginations of the users and the demands of their fans. If you're looking to turn your hobby into an occupation, Twitch makes it exceedingly easy. The service is free to use, and getting it going on any modern machine is a pretty painless affair. All you have to do to start is create a free account and put together a profile. Facebook integration makes it easy to get moving with your account and create an installed fan base by pulling from your existing friends list. From here, you can pick the games that you want to stream and create your own channels for these games. A number of filtering and tagging options allow you to make your stream more prominent for users who might be interested in the type of experiences you offer. Twitch offers support for some of the hottest e-sports games around as well as a number of single-player options, and the flexibility of the platform makes it a viable alternative for streaming non-gaming media and gaming-related talk shows as well. Getting started with your streaming content is facilitated by step-by-step instructions and a simple download to your rig. Twitch offers a variety of metrics you can track for your stream, a critical component if you're looking to move to a paid subscription account. Paid subscriptions allow streamers to make money based off the popularity of their streams. One of the things Twitch does exceptionally well is create an interactive community between fans and streamers. Interactivity is a critical component here. Paid users can receive direct messages from their followers, and a versatile chat interface allows viewers to communicate with one another, comment on the stream going on, and create a relationship with the streamer in question. Unlike traditional video posting offered by services like YouTube, the live nature of Twitch creates a deeper level of engagement. Since social interactions are so important to a service like this, it's worth commenting on the healthy user base of Twitch. It's quickly become the most prominent streaming service around, and the search and browsing interface is cleanly designed, letting users more easily connect to the sort of streams they love. Twitch is owned by Amazon, and they've used their spending power and experience to create a highly polished and intuitive interface.