In recent months there has been an increase in profiles from the political sphere on Twitch, a streaming platform originally designed for video games. Analysts and communication specialists investigate the pros and cons of this expanding social network, still unknown to many. However, there has been an increase in the number of people who buy reviews on this platform, indicating that its popularity continues to increase day by day.
Politics has become a streamer. No one will be surprised by this statement if you have followed the political news on social networks in recent months with interest. Twitch breaks fan records and the rest of the platforms turn to compete in the live era. In this article we analyze the streamer era and its opportunities in political communication.
In the midst of a global pandemic and with socio-sanitary restrictions that prevent mobility and crowds both in public and private spaces, politics has turned (more if possible) on social networks and multimedia platforms as a priority channel in the dissemination of their messages and in establishing relationships. Candidates and organizations have understood the importance of using these digital tools to connect with the grassroots and new potential voters, thus eliminating the space-time barrier so difficult in the past.
While most social networks allow live video streaming, YouTube is still the leading streaming platform. With more than fifteen years of experience, it is the most popular social video network and, together with WhatsApp, the app most used by users. Its search engine is also the second most used in the world, only behind its brother Google.
Instead, Twitch is a more recent application. Acquired by the giant Amazon in 2014, it was presented as a platform designed for gamers, where they could share their experience playing video games. But what began as one more adventure of political gamification has evolved, and many have seen a golden opportunity to communicate politics in a different, fresh way, nearby, in the digital plaza of young people, and in which interaction with the audience plays a fundamental role.
As with all the new platforms that make their way into our daily lives, each sector looks at its potentialities and weaknesses according to its interests, comparing them with similar networks in which it already has an audience and a consolidated previous work. What are the similarities and differences between Twitch and YouTube? Without a doubt, the main difference between the two platforms is their conceptualization. YouTube was born as a network to upload and search for videos, in the style of a digital repository. Years later, it incorporated the option of transmitting online. However, Twitch comes to light with the opposite approach: it is a live video platform, which also allows you to select a fragment of the stream and share it later. That is why YouTube is positioned as the second most used search engine in the world, while on Twitch the search for content is not very functional, because this is not its objective (at least the initial one).
On the other hand, Twitch has become the network that everyone talks about, increasing the rate of notoriety; It is the fashion platform among young people, where more and more they meet their referents. Getting a lot of Twich Followers is a new lifestyle among them. But YouTube is still the third most used social network, both by young people and adults. In addition, the time of daily use does not vary, since they spend 1h 40 ‘and 1h 39’ hours on the respective platforms. Therefore, they have practically the same ability to retain the audience. Now, while on YouTube the communities are already created, on Twitch they have to be created from scratch. Without forgetting another differential aspect that has already been discussed previously and that is key: the importance of chat and interaction with the audience on this platform.