By Harry Green
The key to influencing is access to the audience. Instagram is flexible, in this regard: posts, stories, and live streams are integral ways to reach and engage with a lot of followers. Even direct messaging can be utilized.
There are, though, subtle and important differences between how social media platforms approach posts, stories, and live streams, or – it might be better to say – how influencers and users use the platforms. Twitch offers a new means to live stream and maximize it in better ways than Instagram, or other platforms can offer.
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What is Twitch?
Twitch is a live streaming platform, primarily used by gamers. It has been growing its site-wide average viewer base month-on-month, year-on-year, with a jump coming in April 2020, taking the site from just over one-and-a-half million to two-and-a-half million average viewers a month. The platform signs exclusive deals with streamers, notably re-signing hugely popular talents Ninja and Shroud this year.
Before the 2020 US Presidential Election, to raise awareness of and discuss voting plans, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to the platform to play Among Us with other prominent streamers and Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, which drew massive viewing figures.
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The market is determined by the strongest movements within the gaming industry. In the gambling world the best casinos will experience a sustained peak; offers of no deposit bonuses for Indian players, for instance, ensure that they continue to draw in millions each day. At the other end of the scale, in the mobile gaming world, titles that turn viral see a short, sharp peak as social media and meme-culture offer a sudden boost to downloads. These peaks, whether long drawn out or short, determine the market for streaming services.
Twitch is a hub, but not just for gaming. “Just chatting” has a large share of site-wide viewers. It is exactly how it sounds: streamers sit and chat with these audiences. Obviously, logically, “just chatting” seems like an ideal means to interact with an audience, those from the beauty industry. Not only does it allow influencers to focus on products they’re reviewing or unboxing, and answer questions from audiences, but it also allows for variety. While they could be doing a tutorial they can riff off of topics about anything general to nice, like the best fast food restaurant to the particulars of their relationships.
The differences between Twitch live streams and Instagram live streams are quite apparent. Twitch offers a more formal and structured means of live streaming. Not just because of the subscription mechanic, which streamers can earn a living not possible with Instagram. Twitch offers more of a sense of produced entertainment. Instagram life can seem more informal, in the way it’s from the influencer’s phone to their audience’s.
There isn’t much difference between which is more “personal.” In both cases, you are in someone’s home, more often than not their bedroom. However, Twitch provides a far easier platform to interact with your audience. The chat is easier to view, for instance, and donations and subscribers can send messages which attract the attention of the streamer in more obvious ways.
To provide more structure to these streams, they can be sponsored. It can work in a similar way to sponsored posts on Instagram. A brand will pay a streamer or influencer a fee or offer a deal which includes the use of its products to discuss and advertise their product. For instance, recently, Courage, Nickmercs, Cloakzy, and Swagg were sponsored by Twisted Tea.
They played Call of Duty: Warzone together and did readouts for the brand. It was, largely, a normal stream. Having sponsored streams with beauty products – anything from coconut oil to hair straightener – with all the available means of interacting with your audience, while doing a Q&A or other just general “just chatting” content offer genuinely unique opportunities that Instagram doesn’t offer.
Beauty Influencers on Twitch
James Charles, and other beauty influencers, are using Twitch. James Charles is a unique case though, as he mostly games – recently playing Among Us. His use of Twitch seems more of a way to diversify his content, rather than maximize his beauty influencing content. There are, though, influencers like Alexis Fleming (MadeYewLook) and Young Yuh who use the platform for beauty influencing purposes. Answering questions, showing off looks and doing tutorials.
Twitch rivaling Instagram in the long-run is tough to see. It is more like that they work in tandem. One feeding the other. Influencers need to utilize all platforms to maximize exposure.
(Disclaimer: The article is sponsored, and hence promotes some commercial links.)