While there are various platforms where creators can livestream, Twitch easily exceeds them all. With over 140 million monthly active users, Twitch is the go-to platform for livestreamers today. Though Twitch has a reputation as being a platform for gamers, the platform has evolved in recent years. Over the years, Twitch’s non-gaming categories have gained a wide audience — categories such as Music, ASMR, Art and Just Chatting.
This article will dive into Twitch’s category system to find out how the system works. We will also go over a few of the platform’s most popular categories so you can decide what categories fit you and your content.
What are Twitch categories?
Twitch uses categories to classify what type of content your livestream is and group it with similar content. For example, if you stream yourself painting, your stream would fit in the Arts category. Ultimately, this makes it much easier for viewers to find relevant content to their interests. Viewers who want to watch someone painting can check out Twitch’s Arts category to see who’s painting on stream.
Streamers can also change their categories in the middle of their streams. So, creators are bound to one category per stream. Essentially, this means a streamer can start their stream in the “Just Chatting” category while they’re talking to their chat, waiting for more people to trickle in. Once the stream has enough viewers in their stream, they can transition into playing a game, and switch their category to the specific game they’re playing.
How do categories work?
Twitch organizes its platform in a system of categories. Since Twitch started as a livestreaming platform, most of its categories are dedicated to specific games. Other categories, like Just Chatting, are mixed in amongst the games.
All the categories populate on a single page. Twitch organizes its categories based on the total viewer count and/or its basic recommendation system.
Alternative Twitch categories
The Just Chatting category has proven to be one of the most popular categories on Twitch. This is relatively due to its broad nature. Streamers often use this category when they’re “just chatting” with their chats. This category can be used when streamers are starting their streams, taking a break or for an entire discussion stream.
The category is focused on a conversation between the streamer and other streamers or between the streamer and the viewers. The category can also work for “react” streams. It’s a great category to use for streamers who just want to hang out with their chats.
Since the Just Chatting category is so broad, there’s an endless amount of things you can do that would fit into the category. For instance, you can take quizzes with your chat and discuss the results. If you’re a people person, you can interview other streamers. You can also discuss important news topics spreading in the creator community. The possibilities are endless.
Another popular category on Twitch is ASMR. ASMR content and livestreams try to get people to feel gentle tingling feelings in various ways. Creators achieve these sensations through doing things like speaking softly, tapping objects and brushing hair. While the majority of ASMR content usually consists of a streamer in a quiet room whispering into a microphone, some of the most popular AMSR Twitch streamers take it a few steps further. The “ASMR-meta” on Twitch often teeters the line of slightly sexual or erotic content.
Food & Drink
Another way to diversify your broadcasts, and help you add to your viewer interaction toolbox, is to try the Food & Drink category, where you can show off your cooking skills. Everyone loves food, and for good or worse, this can be a way to interact with others as long as you are not too shy with your cooking skills. This category tends to have plenty of people looking for an alternative to gaming.
Twitch’s Music category is great for musicians who want to get their names our their and perform live for their audience. The experience resembles that of a personal concert. The streamer can interact with their chat in between their performances and even take requests.
While all genres of music are lumped together in the category, you can distinguish your stream with tags. So, if you’re performing electronic-style music, you would use the “electronic music” tag.
The Art category is typically full of artists livestreaming their drawing sessions, but there’s a variety of other types of art streams in this category, like painting. Typically, since art sessions can take a while, those looking for art content are looking for a chill place to hang out and chat with other chill people.
Pick what’s right for you and your brand
There are more categories that could help you grow your Twitch channel. However, don’t worry about picking just one category. You can hang out in multiple categories, even during a single broadcast.
The addition of Twitch categories creates new opportunities for streamers and viewers to connect on the platform and grow the user base outside of the gaming community. Be sure to use them to your advantage, and experiment with what works for you and your audience.