If you're a parent and you're not familiar with Twitch, you're not alone. Twitch is a live streaming platform where gamers can watch other people play games, as well as chat with them and other viewers. It's become increasingly popular in recent years, and many parents are curious about what it is and whether their children should be allowed to participate. In this blog post, we will provide a comprehensive guide to Twitch for parents. We'll cover everything from what it is to how to keep your child safe while using it. So, is Twitch safe for kids? Keep reading for more information.
What is Twitch?
Twitch is a platform where gamers can watch other people play games, as well as chat with them and other viewers. It was founded in 2011 and acquired by Amazon in 2014.
Although Twitch primarily focuses on video game streaming, other types of content are also available. For example, you can watch people cook, paint, or do other creative activities. There is also a large variety of channels to choose from, so there's something for everyone.
Over the years, it has become increasingly popular, especially among young people. As of 2022, it was estimated that Twitch has 140 million unique monthly visitors. Twitch is most popular among gamers, but there are also many non-gaming content creators on the platform.
There are several benefits to using Twitch for kids, which is why the platform is so popular. Here are some of the main benefits:
- It's a great way for kids to connect with kids who share the same interests and other gamers from around the world
- Playing games can help kids develop skilled and strategic thinking
- Watching others play games can be entertaining and educational for kids
- Some channels on Twitch offer creative content that can be inspiring for kids
- It can help kids learn about new games and genres that they might not have otherwise tried
How does Twitch work?
When you visit the Twitch website or open the Twitch app, you'll be able to see a list of live streams. You can either browse by game or by channel. If you find a stream that you're interested in, you can click on it to watch it. Some streams are also available to watch on-demand after they have ended.
While watching a stream, you'll be able to chat with other viewers in the chatroom. You can also donate money to support your favourite streamers. Twitch's currency is called "bits", and each bit is worth $0.01. You can use them for other purposes such as buying emotes (small images that you can use to communicate with other viewers) or subscribing to a channel. Subscription services are offered by some streamers and give you access to exclusive content and perks.
Twitch also has a feature called ‘following’. When you follow someone, their live streams and videos will show up in your feed. This makes it easy to keep track of your favourite streamers.
Is Twitch only for gamers?
No, Twitch is not only for gamers. There are many non-gaming content creators on the platform and you can watch people cook, paint, do other creative activities, and more. This makes Twitch a great choice for anyone who wants to watch content online.
But, the majority of content on Twitch is gaming-related and there are many gaming-related channels to choose from. For example, you can find streams for popular games like Fortnite, PUBG, and Minecraft. These channels usually have a lot of viewers and are very active.
How old do you have to be to use Twitch?
So, how old do you have to be to use Twitch? The minimum age to create a Twitch account is 13. This is because there is some mature content on the platform that may not be appropriate for young children. But, keep in mind that some content on the platform may not be appropriate for children over 13 too.
Although Twitch can be a great platform, there are some risks to consider for young viewers. Here are some of the most common ones:
- Your child may be exposed to inappropriate content. Although Twitch has a filtering system in place, some content may still slip through the cracks
- Your child may be tempted to spend too much time on Twitch. Make sure to set limits and encourage them to balance their time between gaming and other activities
- Your child may be exposed to cyberbullying. The chatroom can be a place where people could say mean things to each other. Make sure your child knows how to deal with this type of behaviour if it happens
That being said, there are some safety measures in place to protect young children. For example, Twitch has a Safety Advisory Council that helps to moderate content on the platform. In addition, parents can set up parental controls to limit what their children can watch on Twitch.
Does Twitch offer inappropriate content?
Yes, there is some inappropriate content on Twitch. But, there are also many appropriate and family-friendly channels available.
It's important to remember that not all content on Twitch is appropriate for all ages, so you should be aware of the type of content your child is watching. Parents should use their discretion when deciding whether or not their children should use the platform. If you're unsure whether a channel is appropriate, we recommend checking out the channel's description or watching a few minutes of the stream yourself.
Even with the Safety Advisory Council and option for parental controls, some inappropriate content may slip through the net. If you come across something that you believe is inappropriate, please report it to Twitch so they can take appropriate action.
Who can chat with my child on Twitch?
Only people who are friends with your child on Twitch and are in the same chatroom can chat with them. This helps to ensure that your child is only talking to people they know and trust. In addition, parents can block certain words from being used in chat and block certain viewers from chatting with their children. Twitch also has a reporting system that allows users to report inappropriate content or behaviour. This helps to keep the platform safe for everyone.
On top of this, chatrooms on Twitch are moderated by channel moderators. These are people who have been appointed by the channel owner to help keep the chatroom clean and friendly. They can ban users from the chatroom and delete inappropriate messages.
Does Twitch have parental controls?
Yes, Twitch has parental controls that allow parents to restrict their children's viewing. To set up Twitch parental controls, go to the account settings and select ‘Restrict Content’. You can then choose what content is appropriate for your child. For example, you can block mature content or channels with objectionable language. You can also choose when your child can watch Twitch. You can set a daily limit or restrict viewing to certain hours. Here is how to set up Twitch parental controls:
- First, go to your account settings
- Next, select ‘Restrict Content’
- From here, you can choose what content is appropriate for your child by blocking mature content or channels with objectionable language
- You can also set a daily limit or restrict viewing to certain hours
Now that you know how to set up Twitch parental controls, you can ensure that your child is only viewing appropriate content. You can set this up when you create your child's Twitch account. Or, if your child already has a Twitch account, you can set this up for their existing account.
Tips on how to handle your child watching Twitch
Twitch can be a great way for kids to connect with other gamers from around the world. But, there are some important safety considerations to keep in mind. For example, anyone can create a Twitch account, including adults. This means that your child could potentially be exposed to inappropriate content or behaviour.
To help keep your child safe while using Twitch, it’s important to set some ground rules. Here are a few tips:
- Make sure your child is aware of the type of content that is available on Twitch, and talk to them about what is appropriate for them to watch
- Set parental controls on Twitch so that you have more control over what your child is viewing. You can restrict their access to certain channels or games that you don't want them to watch
- Keep an eye on the chatroom to make sure that no one is behaving inappropriately
- Encourage your child to report any behaviour that makes them feel uncomfortable. You can also use the reporting system yourself to report any inappropriate content or behaviour
- Talk to your child about the content they're watching on Twitch. This will help you to better understand what they're watching and why they're watching it
- Keep an eye on your child's viewing habits and talk to them if you have any concerns
By following these tips, you can ensure that your child is safe while using Twitch. You can also help to make sure that they're only viewing appropriate content.
For more information on keeping children safe online and recommended age limits for various platforms, you can refer to our handy GoHenry Guide to Online Age Limits. This guide provides a comprehensive list of age limits and parental guidance for popular online platforms, including Twitch.