Twitch is a live streaming service that enables individuals to stream video content online. It began as a platform for gamers to stream their matches in real-time, but has expanded into other categories. Examples include Just Chatting, Music, and Creative channels.
Anyone with a computer and a high-speed Internet connection can stream on Twitch. It is free to stream, and broadcasters can earn money through user subscriptions, advertisements, and donations. Similar to YouTube, popular Twitch streamers earn enough to make Twitch streaming a full-time job.
Examples of online games and esports events streamed on Twitch include:
Twitch began in 2005 as Justin.tv, a small streaming service focused on general "real life" content rather than gaming. However, the most popular type of content was online gaming, which led to the introduction of TwitchTV, a game streaming service, in 2011. The platform gained several million users in the next few years and rebranded as simply "Twitch."
In 2014, Amazon acquired Twitch for $970 million. While Amazon now owns the service, it is still run as Twitch Interactive, Inc. and has not changed much since the acquisition. The most notable change is that the streaming platform now offers a broader variety of content, such as the "IRL" (In Real Life) streaming category. Twitch has come full circle in terms of content since Just Chatting is now the most popular streaming category.