On Twitch, you can watch streamers play a game, discuss politics, animate an anime, draw a comic, and many more.
Because Twitch allows the users to communicate with each other, and not only to the streamers, Twitch is starting to become a social media closer than before
Is Twitch a Social Media?
Yes, Twitch is considered a social media platform. Twitch is a video-sharing platform that focuses on streamers. Because everyone can be streamers on Twitch, it qualifies as a social media platform
According to Wikipedia, the definition of Social Media is a Web-Based or App Platform that allows the creation and sharing of information in any form via virtual communities.
On Twitch, you can share streams and videos accessible to anyone. Merriam Webster includes Social Gaming and Video Sharing as a Social Media site.
So, according to the Wikipedia and Merriam-Webster definitions, Twitch is a real social media platform
Not only that, Twitch is equipped with many features specific to a social media website.
You can search for a friend with similar interest, add friends, chat with other users in the chat room, connect your account to other social media, and setup your own Twitch channel profile
If you want, you can follow a Twitch channel to get a notification when the streamers start streaming on Twitch.
Just like how YouTube works when you subscribe to a channel
Moderation is expected in most social media, allowing everyone to create and consume content safely. Twitch has a community guideline that streamers must follow to make the content family-friendly, or else they will get banned
What Type of Social Media Twitch Is?
Twitch belongs to video sharing platform, just like TikTok and YouTube. Specifically, Twitch is a platform that focuses on the aspect of live streaming as the primary video content on the website
According to Wikipedia, an online video sharing platform is one of 13 types of social media types.
To qualify as a video-sharing platform, It must allow users to easily upload and watch video content. And indeed, Twitch allows you to share live streaming content
Besides live streaming, you can upload videos on Twitch. But unlike on YouTube, you need to live stream the video content first before editing it into a video that everyone can watch
Twitch, as a Live streaming platform, provides an opportunity for every one share their life experience with other people and interact with them while playing games or doing their hobby
Why Do Many People Consider Twitch is not a Social Media?
Because Twitch has a stigma that it only focuses on gaming content instead of the social media aspect of communicating with other users, it’s not. Twitch has many kinds of features that resemble other popular social media
Even though from the outside, Twitch has lesser social media features than Facebook and Instagram, it doesn’t mean that Twitch is not a Social Media
YouTube, Facebook Gaming, and TikTok are social media platforms with features similar to Twitch. Because both Twitch and TikTok is a recent social media, many people like to compare TikTok and Twitch
Many people keep using YouTube and TikTok just to watch the latest video by their favorite content creators.
If TikTok and YouTube are social media sites, then Twitch can also be regarded as social media, despite heavily focusing on video game content.
Many fans watch the same streamers, just like on YouTube and TikTok.
Twitch has evolved from a Live Streaming Platform for Gamers to a Social Media
Video Game Live streaming is the main component of Twitch. It’s the reason why Twitch became so popular.
For many years, gamers have had no platform to communicate with each other except for Reddit and gaming forums.
But, even then, they can only see the gameplay video recorded on YouTube instead of watching the moment live on a Twitch stream.
It was so painful that we needed to wait for the gaming convention just to meet with other gamers. Twitch is the start of the connection between separated gaming communities.
Back then, the FPS game community rarely interact with the MMORPG community. Each has a separate gaming forum, gaming convention, and game magazine so that FPS players won’t know much about the best StarCraft 2 Players.
Now, most American gamers know about Ninja, Ludwig, and xQcOW.
As video games evolved to become e-sport, video game stars, most commonly called “Pro Players” appeared.
Twitch has become the only platform to let fans and Pro Players interact with each other.
It’s commonly seen that in the current era, many gamers idolize a pro player in the respective game they played.
Many people use Twitch to watch their favorite game being played live or their favorite streamers playing it.
Twitch as a live streaming phenomenon has changed the gaming culture and become the default gaming live streaming platform
Is Twitch Only Just for Gamers?
Twitch is not just for gamers. Even though it was created just for a gamer, many Twitch viewers watch various kinds of content like Art, Hobby, politics, and sports on Twitch.
Just Chatting is currently the most popular category on Twitch instead of video game categories like League of Legends or CS:GO
Even though some Twitch streamers misused the Just Chatting category to increase their stream popularity, it’s undeniable that Just Chatting is the main category that Twitch Users will always visit when they are bored
Just Chatting provides a way for fans to interact with their favorite streamer.
Twitch may have just started as a site that only focused on gamers, but many people use it to connect with other users
The definition of Social media is changing every day. When Facebook was created, no one could predict people would share their images on Instagram and stream their niche hobby on Twitch
So even if you disagree that Twitch is a social media, we may see that Twitch will continue to evolve beyond a live streaming platform