Twitch is a community platform where gamers can watch and broadcast video game play. While you might not have heard about it, chances are, your teen has.
Founded in 2011, Twitch boasts over 100 million unique users per month and says it has 2.1 million people broadcasting on the site. It has become so popular that Amazon bought it for $970 million.
While the site was originally aimed at connecting gamers, it is quickly turning into more of a social platform for its users. Since many parents aren't aware of Twitch, it's not as easy to keep track of kids' activities.
So, what can your kids do on Twitch?
- They can livestream themselves playing video games, showing both the view of the game and the view of your child.
- They can chat with other Twitch users.
- They can watch other users' video game play.
While this, for the most part, may seem harmless, some teens are spending as many as 20 hours per week on sites like this. Also, a lot of the content - especially language - can be unfiltered.
If you are concerned about a Twitch channel your child wants to watch, it's best to watch it yourself for at least 15 minutes to get a sense if it's something you consider appropriate or not.