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Many are unsure where to begin their streaming careers, between Twitch and Facebook. Twitch is the original streaming platform and is still the largest, whereas Facebook Gaming is on the rise and synced with Facebook profiles. Ummer Naviwala, aka “Omareloff”, made the decision to move over to Facebook for his streaming career, and now has 220,000 followers on Facebook.
Many new and aspiring streamers look for recommendations on which they should start on, or the key differences between the two platforms and how those differences can affect a streaming career, Naviwala shared his key reasonings for his switch. “While it’s certainly a matter of personal preference, the following points of differentiation factored greatly into my decision to switch to Facebook,” he said.
1. The culture.
“It’s true that the culture of the two platforms are different, and I believe this comes down to anonymity available to gamers on Twitch. Since everyone flies under the radar with made-up usernames and the absence of real photos, there are higher rates of toxicity within the viewer’s comments and in messages with other streamers and viewers,” Naviwala reflected. “This ‘mask’ of anonymity makes it easier to say something ill-mannered or hateful, and in my experience, made the comment sections more negative and fueled by toxicity than they should’ve been.”
By contrast, on Facebook, both viewers and streamers participate with their actual Facebook profiles. “This means that anything they say or do can be seen by their Facebook friends, and their real identity is shown, which commands a higher sense of responsibility over what they say,” advised Naviwala.
Anyone can go look at viewer profiles. Anonymity can only be achieved if they’re playing or viewing from a Facebook alias account, which negates the point.
“As a result, I’ve found that the culture on Facebook is more respectful, and it’s also easier to make genuine friends and connections. This contributes to a sense of community. I’ve learned from growing my own audience that it’s not so much about growing your followers as it is about growing your community, which means that real and authentic conversations are had frequently. I’ve met some of my best friends through streaming on Facebook, and often felt alone or secluded when I used Twitch.”
2. The ability to grow an audience.
Because growing an audience is imperative for monetizing your streaming, it’s best to focus your efforts on a platform in which growing your following is easier. Naviwala said that he was able to grow a follower base on Facebook far more quickly — at an almost exponential rate as opposed to his years on Twitch. This is, in part, due to the fact that Twitch is a niche market.
“Viewers on Twitch come on to watch what they want to watch, and the algorithm favors the big creators as a result. In trying to grow a Twitch following, the only real way to gain any leverage is to get a streamer with a larger audience to give you a shoutout or a raid, or to host your page while they’re offline. This is very hard — almost impossible — to secure, especially because the bigger streamers are constantly being asked for favors like these.”
Additionally, Naviwala said that some streamers on Twitch rely on external ads to drive traffic to their channel, but even then, it’s better to be able to grow organically. “Growth on Facebook happens naturally. I asked my friends and family to share my page and my live streams, and because my friends and connections were already on the platform, it became easier to get more views and shares.”
As a result, since moving to Facebook, Naviwala’s audience has grown substantially and he says that he’s been able to devote his full-time career to streaming, whereas on Twitch, he could only commit to streaming as his passion project since his audience was smaller and harder to grow. In fact, Business Insider recently published an article stating that gamers reported that they’re making more money on Facebook Gaming than on Twitch or YouTube. Of course, this is if you’re chosen for Facebook’s “Level Up” program, but you can get to that stage more quickly by leveraging your current friends and family online.
Which is exactly what Facebook gamers are doing. And, to put this into context, Twitch is still the platform with the most number of streaming hours (both played and watched), which is a nod towards the opportunity on Facebook to more quickly grow an audience and make a potentially full-time salary streaming.
“I believe that streamers should switch to Facebook if they’re serious about growing their audience while also cultivating community, as the overarching difference I observed between Twitch and Facebook was the ability to scale quickly and genuinely,” Naviwala concluded.