Twitch is one of the biggest platforms on the planet for content creation and consumption, at its core it is a bunch of servers which connect to other machines but it does bring people together in a single space.
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are clear examples of social media but does Twitch belong with them? Let’s dig in.
What is a social media?
We’re going to go through a couple of definitions of social medias and see if Twitch fits into them.
websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking.Oxford Languages via Google
Wikipedia (several sources)
- Social media are interactive Web 2.0 Internet-based applications.
- User-generated content—such as text posts or comments, digital photos or videos, and data generated through all online interactions—is the lifeblood of social media.
- Users create service-specific profiles for the website or app that are designed and maintained by the social media organization.
- Social media helps the development of online social networks by connecting a user’s profile with those of other individuals or groups.
forms of electronic communication (such as websites for social networking and microblogging) through which users create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content (such as videos)Merriam-Webster
Is Twitch a social media by definition?
Twitch is a social media as it clearly has the same properties as multiple definitions for what a social media platform is.
Here’s the full explanation of why.
The first definition clearly marks Twitch down as a social media – users (the streamers) do create and share content (streaming and VODs) and participate in social networking (the chat). Twitch also counts as a social network by the same definition – but we’ll stick to the question of whether or not it’s a social media.
There are several sources of these four definitions of what social media sites have in common and we’re going to go through each one.
The first is obvious, Twitch is most certainly a “Web 2.0” website, especially since the whole basis of Web 2.0 is user generated content.
The second point, user-generated content being the lifeblood of the website. Technically, the streamer is a user of Twitch and their stream is the user-generated content. Some people may debate this but consider this – what content does Twitch produce themselves? What is the overall percentage of content creator by streamers?
Point 3 is pretty clear, streamers create their profiles (channels) but Twitch (social media organization) maintain the website that they sit on.
And the fourth point is the whole objective of growing a Twitch channel in the first place, to connect to others.
By Wikipedia’s definition which is a host of other definitions, Twitch is clearly a social media platform.
Another definition which clearly categorises Twitch as a social media. Specifically, by creating online communities and the part about sharing content which includes videos.
I think that makes it fairly conclusive that Twitch is a social media platform. If it wasn’t, what else would it be?