What Is Twitch, Exactly?

twitch gaming streaming

The Twitch story begins with Yale graduate Justin Kan: in 2007 Kan decided to stream his life 24h. With a webcam pointed at his baseball cap and a computer in his backpack, he opened the doors of his life, night and day, to interested parties.

With the first channel of the streaming platform called Justin.tv, named after its creator, Kan raised the media attention and later other life casters also decided to show up on the Internet. So other channels were added to the network.

A year after its creation, the company already had 30,000 registered streamers. Gradually the categories such as sports, music, news and the games section were added. In the game section users filmed themselves while playing on the PC or console. Just this section has collected more and more consensus and so it was separated in 2011: this date marked the birth of Twitch.tv.

In the meantime, Justin.tv closed its doors so that the company could concentrate on the most successful derivative project. In 2014 Amazon took over Twitch Interactive Inc. for $ 970 million.

The range of action of the streaming platform is continuously increasing and even in 2016 there were record results, such as:

  • 292 billion minutes of video viewed
  • 2.2 million Active streamers
  • 14.2 billion messages sent via Twitch chat.

What Is Twitch, Exactly?

twitch what is

Twitch is both a site and an app for iOS, Android, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3 and 4, Amazon Fire TV, Google Chromecast, Roku, and NVIDIA SHIELD. Twitch is today one of the main sources of Internet traffic in the United States and has introduced several functions over time that make it similar to a social network, like the possibility of sending private messages to other users or Pulse, a sort of timeline to Facebook. Some Twitch streamers now broadcast artistic performances or simple moments of everyday life, but the bulk of the content remains connected to the world of gaming.

People love to support and motivate their most loved creators of videos and they even spend their own money to buy subscriptions and avoid the ads in videos. However, following a creator and getting notified when they come online is free.

How does Twitch Works?

We can also use Twitch without subscribing, but only to watch: we will not be able to enter chats and comment, nor will we be able to create our list of favorite channels, nor send messages to other users. When we enter Twitch, we are greeted by a large slide where we find the contents suggested by the platform. Immediately below are the recommended channels and the recommended categories. 

Finally, we find the recommended channels for some selected categories: for example, Fortnite and Quattro chatter. We can browse Twitch content from these quick links, from the search bar at the top center or from the “Browse” tab.

How to Broadcast on Twitch?

In addition to watching content on Twitch, we can also create it by streaming. From these broadcasts, thanks to the affiliate program, we can also get some money from the advertisements on our videos.

To broadcast on Twitch, we must first install a broadcasting app, like OBS (which is free). Then we have to log into Twitch, go to our Dashboard, search for and select a game or category, and enter the title of the broadcast we want to start. Let’s now go to OBS where among the settings we will have to choose Twitch as a streaming service and click on ” Optimize “. 

Again, from the Twitch Dashboard, now, we will have to select the Stream Key associated with the transmission, copy it and paste it in the appropriate field within the transmission settings on OBS.

At this point, from the OBS menu, we select Game Capture between as the streaming source, then choose the game and select OK. With a right-click on Sources, the additional options will open, from which we will have to choose between Monitor Capture (to transmit everything that is displayed on our monitor) or Video Capture (to transmit the webcam signal). Then we click on Start Streaming to go on the air.

What is Twitch Prime?

Twitch Prime is the paid version of the Twitch account. If you have never used a Twitch Prime account, you will be entitled to a 30-day free trial being able to decide at the end of this free trial whether to renew the subscription or cancel it.

With the Twitch Premium account, you get several advantages such as:

  • receive a free subscription to a channel chosen by you to use every 30 days
  • access free content of games selected by Twitch and, on some occasions
  • receive free games
  • use exclusive remote chats
  • color the messages you send
  • if you are a streamer, archive your broadcasts for 60 days instead of 14
  • finally, a chaplet next to your nickname that proves that you have a Twitch Prime account.

If the benefits of Twitch Prime seem interesting to you, continue reading this post to find out how to subscribe.

How to have a Twitch Prime?

Subscribing to Twitch Prime is very simple. To get started, access the Twitch page dedicated to the Prime service by clicking here and presses the yellow “Discover Twitch Prime” button.

You will surely have noticed the wording “offered by Amazon Prime”, this is because to have a premium subscription you need to connect Amazon Prime to Twitch.

In the next screen, therefore, select your country of residence and follow the wizard to connect the two accounts. In the end, choose a valid payment method to subscribe to Prime and click on “Sign up and Pay”. You can decide to cancel your Prime membership at any time, while still enjoying the many benefits up to the renewal period.

Great, now that you know what Twitch is and how much it costs to have Twitch Prime, all you have to do is get comfortable and watch your favorite live streams! After all, it’s like watching videogame television, isn’t it?

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