Owned By: Amazon
Category: Photo and Video
Operating System: IOS and Android
Available for download: Yes
Desktop version: Yes
Approximate release date: 2011
Age Rating*: Rated 17+ for the following
- Infrequent/mild cartoon or fantasy violence
- Infrequent/mild profanity or crude humor
- Frequent/intense mature/suggestive themes
- Infrequent/mild realistic violence
- Infrequent/mild horror/fear themes
- Infrequent/mild alcohol, tobacco, or drug use or reference
Brief Description*: Experience the games you love like never before! Watch live streams and chat with devoted gamers around the world.
*Information from the App Store
Users can connect with other users by video chat, private messaging, or live stream.Ability to connect with strangers
Users can friend other users and have the ability to video chat with them.Ability to video chat
Users can follow channels and watch live streams. Typically, users watch live streams of gamers playing video games.Watch live videos
Many brands have used Twitch’s live stream feature to promote products and services.Business Accounts (used for business)
While cyberbullying isn’t common, it can happen on live streams.Cyberbullying opportunities
Twitch isn’t just live streaming video games, you can live stream anything from fishing to cleaning a bong.Inappropriate content
Users can chat with other gamers through a full functioning chat.Ability to chat
Users can follow channels they like and set up push notifications for when they go live.Ability to follow channels
Because users are watching live streams in real time, they can be exposed to adult language, adult themes, and violent video games.Violence
Twitch may collect data that is linked to your identity, including purchases, user content, identifiers, diagnostics, contact information, search history, usage data, and other data.Collects user’s information
Users can subscribe to receive custom emotes, badges, and more. They can also subscribe for ad-free viewing.In-app purchases
Reviewed By: Ryan
The main function of Twitch is to watch others play video games. I’m not a gamer, so watching others play video games on Twitch doesn’t have any interest for me, but for kids that do play video games, it can be quite fascinating. My son will watch YouTube videos of someone playing Minecraft to help him hone his skills with the game. Twitch has many functions including watching recorded video games, playing video games live, a full function chat, the ability to follow channels that you like, and push notifications for when channels you like are live.
Visually, there is a lot going on with the platform. See my screenshot below of Twitch on the web. I stumbled upon Justine Griffin who was playing her violin and guitar and singing. From the screenshot, you can see there are a lot of functions with the platform. Twitch isn’t all video game live streaming. I was able to watch many musicians, a fishing channel, and “just chatting” where there was no video gaming. I saw several cooking channels, a yoga channel, and a streamer showing the viewers how he was cleaning his bong after smoking marijuana. I also found Bonnie Bunny from Texas (screenshot below).
A few things to keep in mind: Twitch is owned by Amazon. Amazon knows how to make money. There are many ads and opportunities to remove the ads by setting up a monthly subscription. Since there are livestreams, your child will be exposed to adult language and themes. Anything can happen during a livestream. You can watch others play violent video games that you might not permit your child to play.
You can learn how to disable messages from strangers by reading this article.
Finally, make sure to click on the Youth Thoughts tab to hear what recent high school graduate John Kashmerr says about the platform from a youth perspective.
With any piece of technology, you should have a Technology Contract in place before they use it.
I would not recommend Twitch for anyone under 17 years old.
My #1 recommendation: If you are going to let your child have a Twitch account, you should take 20 minutes and scroll through Twitch to learn how it functions and what areas you would like to have prevention discussions with your child before they create an account. Knowing how Twitch works will be one of your tools so that you can effectively educate them on how to use it responsibly.