For some strange reason, not a lot of people in South Africa know about Twitch, unless you’re a gamer, then you’ve probably heard about it. So for all you non-gamers out there, let me start from scratch and introduce you to the world of Twitch.tv.
Don’t worry, I won’t bore you too much with the back story.
To keep it short and sweet, Twitch was founded in June 2011 by Twitch Interactive Inc. In September 2014 Amazon.com purchased Twitch for $970 million (that’s about R13.4 billion… wowsa!). Now you’re probably asking yourself:
if it is worth so much, how come I haven’t hear of it?
Well, shut up Susan, I’m about to tell you.
Twitch is a live video streaming platform that primarily focuses on video games. You’re able to watch people play games live. It’s also used for eSports and, recently, other creative content has been featured. But it is primarily a social live streaming platform for gamers.
When you log on to Twitch you’re able to search various games and watch live footage of people playing the games. Simple as that. This is great if you’re trying to decide what game to buy because you can watch playthroughs before dropping cash. The games on Twitch range for League of Legends, Overwatch and Dota 2 to Dead by Daylight, Skyrim and even Pokemon GO!
You can also subscribe to your favourite Twitch streamers and you will be notified when you’re online. If you missed a stream, no biggie, you can view videos that have (relatively) long since ended streaming with Video on Demand. This feature lets you use Twitch, basically, like a PVR, so your viewers can still enjoy your content by simply going to a your Past Broadcasts on your channel page. For regular broadcasters, you can only store a Past Broadcast for 14 days.
If you’re willing to fork out the $8.99 a month (about R124.05) to become Twitch Turbo Subscriber or you’re a Twitch partner, you can still access the videos up to 60 days later. Twitch Turbo comes with a few other cool features, like eliminating ads, custom emoticon sets, expanded chat colours, becoming a priority customer and an exclusive Turbo badge! It doesn’t seem that great when I say it out loud, but if that’s worth it to you, then go get it!
Now we get to the good stuff. What makes Twitch so great? I’ve given you a baseline to work on, now let me add the details.
Twitch is often used to raise money, whether its for the streamers themselves or as some YouTubers have done, to raise money for charity. MiniLadd, a YouTube gamer, currently residing in Los Angeles, did a 24 hour charity live stream for Northwest Counselling Centre in the UK and raised a total of $55 000, he even personally added 10k himself.
Besides being a place that showcases hope for humanity through charitable means, Twitch also gives you the opportunity to chat with your favourite streamers as they’re playing! Whether its an entertaining gamer who clearly wants to toss his controller at his monitor, or a girl who doesn’t quite want to take that next step to becoming an online stripper just yet. (Not all of them are like that, I promise)
For the non-gamers out there, as I’ve briefly mentioned before, Twitch isn’t all about gaming.
There are talk shows, poker and other casino games, music, creative shows (which includes drawing, painting, cosplay and a whole lot more) and if you’re that lonely, there’s even a ‘Social Eating’ catagory so you never have to sit and eat alone again. I’m not kidding, it’s really there.
So whether you’re supporting your favourite streamer by subscribing, checking out if a game is worth that R900 or eating alone, Twitch seems to be the place to be.
Here at TechGirl we’re desperately searching for local South African Twitch streamers to feature. So if you regularly stream on Twitch please comment below so we can showcase the best South African Twitch users. You can also message Tech Girl on Facebook or tweet u at @TechGirlZA