Today, I wanted to talk about a topic that I’ve stumbled across quite often. I’ve noticed that from time to time people apologise for not being able to support streamers momentarily but it’s fine. Money doesn’t grow on trees, after all! Nobody owes anyone money really on Twitch and there are plenty of ways to support streamers for free, especially smaller ones. Hence, I just wanted to talk about that a little bit with a few bullet points and a small post on why certain things are often better than subscriptions, bits, and tips.
The act of lurking goes a long way. By “lurking”, you essentially can support streamers even when you’re busy or when you don’t have the time. Showing up for a stream and chatting is nice, sure, but especially with how busy the post-lockdown world has gotten, I believe that lurking has gotten even more important. For anyone that doesn’t know what “lurking” means: Lurking is basically the act of opening up the stream and watching without chatting… Technically, you don’t even have to watch. You can just have the stream on, turn up the volume, and mute the tab. There’s this rule of “muting tabs, not streams” as muted streams may not count as views… but that may actually not be the case anymore. Either way, better safe than sorry, right? Another thing is the rule of “No More Than Four” – apparently, you can lurk in up to four streams at the same time and you count as a viewer for all four. Once you open the fifth stream, you stop counting as a viewer for any of them. The reason why lurking itself is so great is because every viewer – that gets added to the view count – bumps up the streamer in the respectable directory. Since most people sort through the top streams first, it can get quite hard for smaller streamers to be found. Even one more viewer can often do wonders in terms of discoverability.
Social Media and Engagement
I have a bunch of “streamer appreciation” posts on my blog, for instance, and while they may not boost these people’s numbers by a whole lot, it may result in them actually finding a new viewer, which is nice. Similarly, if I recommend a streamer to friends that are looking for raid targets, new streamers to vibe with, or just new communities to hang out in… then recommendations can do wonders. Similarly, a lot of streamers tweet out when they go live, so retweeting that can boost their reach as well based on your reach. Engaging with their content on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc. can help out as well in terms of discoverability. Being active on their discord servers, being nice to new viewers, suggesting streamers as raid targets, or just mentioning them elsewhere can be a great way to support them. Obviously, though, you shouldn’t promote them without the given context. If a streamer asks for raid targets, it’s fine to mention others. If you show up for the first time and ask whether or not people follow XilentFlex already… then that can be considered rude and… weird. Hence, context is important! On another note, Flex is great! Check him out. :)
Even if you’re not a streamer yourself, you can add people to your auto-host list, essentially adding them to the preview on your channel. You yourself may not be able to provide help in the form of raids or anything but it’s still a signal boost of sorts and when people click on your name for whatever reason, they may see said streamer, helping them out in the process. Similarly, when you manually host them, they are added to your preview, found at the “chat” section of your stream. It’s just a good way of supporting them. Obviously, raiding is a great way to do it, too. You bring your community over to their stream. You may end up meeting new friends that may join your stream but most likely, you’ll just end up bringing your folks over to their chat and supporting them. I wouldn’t raid with the expectations of getting tons of new follows or viewers or anything like that. In fact, I noticed that raids contribute less to that… but still, you may end up boosting their view count, making their day, and your community will see new content even when you’re already offline!
This one’s interesting because you’re essentially contributing to the content available to new viewers. By clipping your favourite moments in a stream, you essentially are able to preserve those fleeting clips for potential eternities! I guess that’s a bit dramatic but streamers don’t always go back into VODs and clip stuff, although they should… and if you do it while they’re live, it can help out quite a bit. Not only can new viewers check these out but streamers can also edit them together into raid videos, channel trailers, highlights on YouTube, and that sort of stuff, resulting in potentially a lot more fun content… and even more discoverability.
Creator Codes/Prime Gaming Sub/Affiliate Links/Sponsored Streams
This last one is “free” but kind of in an indirect way, so it’s the last point here. So, for starters, you can subscribe to any streamer using your Prime Gaming Sub. The money goes directly to the streamer because you already paid five bucks for Amazon Prime. Hence, if you have Amazon Prime, you could think about linking your Amazon and Twitch accounts to basically get access to a lot of emotes while also supporting your favourite streamers. It doesn’t automatically renew, though, and is only available once per month but if you’re already using Amazon Prime, why not also toss your Prime to some streamer? Similarly, a lot of people on Twitch have creator codes, affiliate links, and the like and you can use their links to make your purchases on the Humble Store, Epic Games, or other sites. If you end up purchasing something through that, you won’t need to pay any extra money… but the streamer will get a bit of money through the affiliate links. And well, sometimes there are sponsored streams, so lurking in those can be really helpful as it essentially directly helps the streamer promote said brand and based on those results, said streamer may end up with more deals such as that.
Either way, that’s really it for the post today. Donations, Bits, Subs, and the like are nice and all but you don’t need to spend money on Twitch to support people and in fact, most people are probably more than happy to have your company. If you have any other ideas for future posts on the matter or if you have other ideas for “free ways to support streamers”, let me know below here.