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Twitch

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5/5 User rating

twitch.tv

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Twitch is the leading streaming website for content creators. The platform allows people to come together to celebrate mutual games, exclusive shows, crafts, and more. One of the most amazing things about this streaming website is the ability to interact with content creators in real-time. Streamers go live and play games while talking with their followers and subscribers.

The streaming company launched in 2011 and at the time focused on e-sports and video games. The site raked in millions of viewers and expanded rapidly. In the early launch, the site saw upwards of 3 million viewers per month, and by 2014 they claimed to see peak viewership at a whopping 20 million per month. In 2014 Amazon bought the streaming company.

It’s no doubt that Twitch has changed the way people game. Now even casual players can stream and gain success by doing so. Viewers can preview games they would like to try and watch demos of it before taking the plunge to make a purchase. The streaming site also does a wonderful job of fostering community in the gaming world.

Website Design

Twitch is one of the most well-designed streaming services I have seen to date. They do a wonderful job of theming the website without making navigation difficult. The logo is an appealing purple and black text of their name.

At first glance, the website menus are a lot to take in, but upon further inspection, it is quite easy to get around. The layout of the streams and channels flows well. Once you create an account your home page will be modified to your personal preferences. I have discovered some amazing streamers by checking my recommended category!

There are two modes of viewing the Twitch dashboard. You can choose between a clean and crisp white background with purple accents. Another popular choice of viewing is the night mode. It features a black background with pops of purple accents, as well.

Content

Twitch content is endless. There are so many streams to choose from, sometimes it is difficult to know where to start. Once you create an account you can tinker with your preferences so your home feed shows streams you may be interested in.

In one corner of the stream, you will find video gamers. There are almost constant live streams going for the more popular video games like Fortnite, World of Warcraft, Dead By Daylight, and more. At any time of the day, including the wee hours of the morning, someone is online playing.

Another facet of Twitch is the tabletop gaming community. Dungeons and Dragons themed channels host streams of their sessions. Magic: The Gathering is another popular tabletop game that sees quite a bit of play from viewers. Aside from the paper format, Magic is also visible in the video game forms of Magic Online and Arena. Another tabletop game that is streamed is Pathfinder.

Lastly, Crafts and Slice of Life chatting streams are available on Twitch. Cosplayers stream their process of making their characters, and also do some in character videos, sometimes. There are also many artists and crafters that stream their processes. The Just Chatting section features people just hanging out and talking with their followers about their day and other topics.

Desktop & Mobile Accessibility

The desktop browser version of this website is a dream. Twitch really took the viewer and streamer experiences into account when making this website. It remains a consistent and reliable source of entertainment. It blows all of the other content creation websites out of the water.

The mobile browser is basically just a scaled-down version of the desktop version. The screen goes straight to a welcome header and recommended live feeds. The sidebar for recommended channels is collapsed in this mode. The top menu is simplified even more and allows users to toggle between the home feed and categories. The search bar is in clear view. At the top a pop-up prompts users to open the app.

Unsurprisingly, the app is another great experience. The format is tweaked to optimize the viewing experience. The loading screen is a nice purple background with the Twitch logo. The top menu is notifications, social, and the search bar. On the bottom, the first landing page is the following. Next, the discover tab followed by the browse tab.

Positives

There are so many positive things to say about Twitch’s streaming service. An amazing thing about the website is that you can watch for free. It costs zero money to view content from most streamers.

Some streamers offer subs for a small fee that access more features to interact with them. The biggest appeal of the website is being able to interact with entertaining people. Viewers watch in real-time and react in comments sections. Being able to personally connect with someone who is playing a game that you love or doing a craft that you can relate to is an important part of our internet-obsessed culture today. Twitch offers the best version of this experience.

The amount of streams available is incredible. There is such a wide variety to choose from. Even when you find a category you click with, there are thousands of streamers to choose from to watch. If your favorite streamer is offline, not a problem. There are usually plenty more online playing, so you may find another streamer you enjoy.

The website design is another positive aspect of Twitch. The webpage, mobile browser, and application are all very streamlined and easy to use. The navigation system is flawless. The branding the Twitch team has worked so hard to promote is very apparent. The signature color of blue and the logo are unmistakable and Twitch is a house-hold name that people instantly recognize.

Negatives

There are not very many negatives to using Twitch. The website is in such good shape there are only a few meager things I can complain about. Most of the issues are easily fixable and not a very big issue.

For someone who is new to the content creation streaming websites, Twitch is a lot to take in. It may look confusing, but the website has a good flow that helps users find what they need. This is a problem that is easily solved by spending more time on the site and learning the symbols.

Lastly, a common complaint about Twitch is that they are too restrictive on their bans. Specifically, females are often targeted if they are perceived as being too lewd for the website. More often than not, the streamers are well within the guidelines but are kicked nevertheless. I have seen multiple complaints on Twitter about unfair bannings. Most cases I have seen have been resolved, however cutting off a streamer that is making money on their stream can be financially detrimental. Hopefully, in the future, this problem will be resolved.

Improvements Needed

There are not very many issues that need to be improved on Twitch. The sole issue that I would say needs to be resolved is the banning. If there were a more reasonable approach to the bannings instead of just cutting the streamer off directly, that would be much better. That solution would likely require too many staff members though. I don’t have a great solution to this issue, but hopefully, someone on the Twitch team does or is thinking of a good one. This is a minor issue in the grand scheme of things.

Summary

Overall, Twitch is a great website. Their website and mobile designs are flawless. The navigation of the webpage is easy to follow and you will get hooked in no time watching entertainers play through games.

I have mostly positive things to say about Twitch. Any of the negative things I have to said I had to look very closely to come up with. Twitch has taken the internet by storm since its launch in 2014 and continues to be the front-runner among competitors. I would definitely recommend this website to anyone who enjoys gaming, crafting, and socially interacting with people.

Likes & Hates:
The community Twitch has fostered is unique
Connecting with content creators on a personal level is great
It’s free to use
The design of the website is nice
The branding is easily recognizable
The category of streams is diverse
The bannings are too restrictive