Many new streamers start creating video content on Twitch and quickly become frustrated as they fail to attract new viewers. So, if you want to start live streaming on Twitch, you must learn how Twitch’s algorithm works to grow your channel in a short time.
Typically, the Twitch algorithm puts the most viewed streams on the main page. Before the 2021 update, it was incredibly difficult for a small streamer to grow a loyal follower base, as Twitch’s algorithm worked only in favor of the popular Twitch streamers.
As of 2023, the algorithm has been updated, and it now suggests relevant videos from smaller streamers. Let’s dive into the details of how the Twitch algorithm works and how it helps to grow your Twitch channel.
Does Twitch Have an Algorithm?
Yes, Twitch has an algorithm that decides which Twitch streams rank on the first page, get suggested to the viewers, and gains more followers. People often comment Twitch has no algorithm on Quora, Reddit, and other forums.
Although it’s not true, the biased nature of the algorithm is responsible for generating this idea among Twitch users.
Previously, Twitch only ranked and suggested the most popular streamers and popular games. As a result, it was very difficult for a new streamer to get people to watch their live stream. However, the algorithm is more nuanced and intuitive now as it suggests quality content from small streamers.
Here are the details of the latest updates-
Twitch Algorithm Update 2020
The main target of the Twitch algorithm is to get as many people as possible to watch streams on Twitch. Hence, the platform displayed the most popular live streams on its main page and recommendations.
However, with the 2020 upgrade, small channels got a chance to increase their view count as the Twitch algorithm started suggesting less popular live streams on their recommendation section. So, as a viewer, if you watch Warzone-related streams, Twitch will suggest similar games from less popular channels.
In short, the 2020 update increased the discoverability of the platform and gave a fair chance to smaller streaming channels to gain some loyal viewers.
Twitch Algorithm 2023 Update
This update was released in 2022 and will be utilized in 2023. It focuses on increasing engagement with the audience and generating traffic. Twitch introduced new first-party tools to help streamers create unique branding. It includes new channel skins and branded graphics.
With their eye-catchy branding, small streaming channels are now more recognizable, which helps a ton in generating traffic. A significant upgrade was done in the chat section and tags. Now, streamers can send short clips and video messages to their followers.
The new Q&A section will help streamers to take prompts directly from the audience. You can check out the tag impression analytics and audience retention data to see how you’re running viewers. All these play a significant role in letting the streamers know what to do and what not to do while streaming.
How to Optimize Your Twitch Channel to Rank on Twitch?
Knowing how the Twitch algorithm works will help you optimize your channel depending on the interests of your target audience. If you want to make your Twitch account visible to the algorithm and the viewers, we have some streaming tips for you.
Below are the factors related to the Twitch algorithm which will help you gain a loyal following and take your Twitch channel to the recommendation page. So, let’s have a look.
Front Page Ranking
Despite the changes in the new updates, the Twitch algorithm ranks based on the number of views a streaming content has. Just like other streaming platforms, you’ll only get to the front page if your streams have the most views. As you’d expect, it’s not an easy job for a new channel to get that many viewers right off the bat.
Unlike other platforms like Facebook or YouTube, a stream doesn’t go ‘viral’ suddenly. First, you need to start streaming consistently to gain viewers and invite your family and friends to join your live streams. Increase audience interactivity and let word of mouth spread to increase the discoverability of your channel.
Audience Engagement in Chat Section
Another great way of making your Twitch channel visible to the algorithm is to have a running chat. The larger your chat section is, the better chances you have of beating other streams. Twitch’s algorithm notes how chatty you are and whether the audience engages in your chatroom.
Here, the fun fact is you don’t need millions of followers to increase the chat velocity. Engaging a few loyal followers can generate a huge number of comments if your chatting skills are good. So, always keep talking to the viewers while streaming.
Greet them as they enter the chat, ask them questions, take suggestions, make jokes, and utilize polls and Q&A sections to increase chat velocity on your Twitch stream.
Utilizing Social Media Platforms
Your off-Twitch visibility is important to make the Twitch algorithm notice your channel and streams. Therefore, you need to promote your Twitch streams on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms. You can also choose YouTube videos and TikTok to share a small part of your streams.
Twitch allows and encourages promoting your stream on your social media accounts. If you have active followers on Twitter or Facebook, try to promote your account through Facebook or Twitter posts.
Discord is another useful platform to connect to your audience. Try to remain active on Reddit and Quora and share streaming tips with other streamers. Linking your Twitch account to these platforms will trigger the Twitch algorithm and help you rank on the front page.
Streaming Category and Niche
If a viewer is interested in watching streams from a specific category, the Twitch algorithm will always recommend the same videos from that category.
For those who watch first-person shooter games, Twitch will push the same type of games like Call of Duty or PUBG on the recommendation page of those viewers. Similarly, if you watch cooking streams on Twitch, you’ll get more cooking-related streams on your front and recommendation pages.
One great thing about Twitch is that every streaming category and niche has a large audience. So, choose multiple categories and niches to attract a potential audience. Try to avoid a crowded category that most streamers will choose. You’re more likely to get more viewers when the competition is low.
Streaming Titles, Tags, and Branding
Enticing Twitch titles and tags are an easy way to trigger the Twitch algorithm. Twitch doesn’t have any reliable and intuitive search options for the viewers. If a person searches for a specific game, only the most popular game streams are going to appear.
Hence, smaller channels have less chance to get to the top of the search results. Choosing a great Twitch stream title can help you in this case, as the only way to find a less popular stream is by searching with its title. Twitch tags will also help a ton as the algorithm quickly recognizes them.
Finally, use advanced and eye-catchy graphics to create a recognizable brand. It will easily grab the viewers’ attention and help your channel grow faster.
As a new streamer, you must maintain a specific schedule. Besides, longer streams work better for beginners as the Twitch algorithm quickly notices them. Successful streamers play 8 hours per day to increase viewers and their gaming expertise.
Those who stream on specific hours develop a loyal fanbase faster as people prefer watching streams at the same time every day. You should also focus on increasing the number of complete viewers. The twitch algorithm favors those streams that have a larger number of complete viewers who watches the stream from start to finish.
Interact with Other Channels
Being a part of the Twitch community is essential if you want the algorithm to notice your Twitch channel. Build a strong bond with your fellow streamers on Twitch, Social Media, Discord, YouTube, and other live streaming platforms.
One way to interact with your favorite streamers is to comment on their streams and give raids regularly. This way, you’ll be able to grab the attention of potential viewers. However, don’t try to promote your channel on someone else’s streams. It creates a very bad impression.
The Twitch algorithm recommends raiding content to the audience. So, raid as much as you can on popular channels. Finally, join groups and forums where other streamers ask questions. Help them with their queries and become a significant part of the community. It’s one of the best ways to gain followers on Twitch.
Be a Host
Hosting live streams with other streamers is a good trick to increase viewership. Maintaining a good relationship with popular streamers will help you attract their audience to your channel. Host tournaments or co-streams to play your favorite games with other Twitch streamers.
Try to pick large streamers who already have a loyal fan base on Twitch. This will give a signal to the algorithm that your account is reliable. So, when a viewer searches for your guest streamer, Twitch might suggest your videos as well in the search results or recommendation page.
Make Your Streams Entertaining
We have discussed various ways of attracting viewers and making your account visible to the Twitch stream. Once the viewers join your stream, it’s up to you to make them permanent followers.
Be entertaining to keep the viewers hooked for hours. Talk about the game or other interesting topics. Maintain a positive energy throughout the stream and show the audience that you’re passionate about the game you’re playing.
So, now you know how the Twitch algorithm works. Thanks to the latest updates, Twitch is now more forgiving towards new streamers and smaller channels. The trick is to make more and more people watch your streams so that your streams start ranking on the main suggestion page of Twitch.
We have shared the most effective tips to make this happen, so don’t forget to utilize them to grow your channel.