Twitch Director of Community Erin Wayne and popular streamer Dexbonus (aka Brooke Thorne) discussed the evolution of the streaming platform on its 10 year anniversary in their new uInterview.

“Basically, I turn on a camera and I connect to Twitch, and then whatever it is that I broadcast to my channel, so to speak, in the browser anybody can watch and it’s all live,” Thorne explained. “There’s a chat on the side that people can login to if they want to interact and type things to one another and me and I can read that in real time as well.”

Twitch was created in 2011 as a video game-centered spin-off of Justin.tv, a popular streaming site at the time. Over time, Twitch grew and overtook its parent site in popularity, and by 2014 had become the fourth largest source of internet traffic. But, according to Wayne, some things haven’t changed at Twitch.

“It was so different in many ways and still so much the same today,” she said. “Back then we were a small team. When I joined we were less than 150 employees that were running this global service and it was just a lot of people who were really passionate about building communities, providing content creators with a way to connect with their fans and their viewers, and people who really had a passion for video games.

“Over time that’s obviously evolved,” she continued. “We’ve introduced so many things aside from video games. Now there’s sports, there are arts and crafts, there’s makers, we have Maori woodcarvers, we have people doing yoga, we have people doing cooking. Literally, if you like a thing you can find somebody who’s streaming it on Twitch, and you can watch and you can engage in it. And so that perspective really has changed from the type of content that’s available, but that community-centric, that passion for connecting people, that passion for giving content creators a place for them to really make their own corner of the internet and really call it their home is still their and that hasn’t changed we just have a lot more little homes in our side of the internet.”

Twitch has become more than a place for viewers to watch their favorite creators. It’s a place where people can create deep connections too.

“It’s an instant connection it’s instant feedback,” Wayne said. “It’s a way for you to really form true and meaningful bonds whether it’s with the content creator you admire or with other people in the chat. We have people who have met and gotten married through Twitch. I met my husband through Twitch there’s lots of people who are forming those types of relationships in really meaningful ways over the things that they love.”

“I feel so much more connected to my community than I ever did before,” Thorne said. “I recognize people in chat all the time. There are people that are in there and … you kind of refer to your channel as your home right? Like there are just people who are there all the time and love to be there and every time you get a message or an email or something that says like ‘I just always feel so happy when I’m here,’ you know, ‘This is where I go to wind down,’ ‘This is where I can go and I know that I’ve got friends here.’ Like those sorts of messages, especially from people who might feel ostracized in other places, that means so much just in the overall feel of doing streaming.”

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