How Old Do You Have To Be To Stream On Twitch?


Twitch requires all users to be over the age of 13 but recommends that users should be 15+. Users between the age of 13 and 18 require parental permission and supervision. These rules are bound by the Twitch Terms of Service.

In this brief article, we’re going to look further at the platform Twitch, how they prevent underage users and ensure that their platform remains age-appropriate.

Why Does Twitch Have An Age Restriction?

With many younger users tuning into streaming content every day, it may surprise some that Twitch has age restrictions for both users and streamers. There are a few important reasons for this decision. Parents must stay up to date with the content within this service and how it could affect their children.

All Twitch content is live

One reason it is hard for the site to accurately filter and restrict content is that all performers record live. This means that the content is under the responsibility of the streamer and not the platform, although Twitch requires users to label their content as explicit when necessary.

Explicit Language

Swearing, drug-associated language, and even racial slurs can be an unfortunate reality in gaming culture. This can occur in chat rooms and many famous Twitch Stars are known for their use of explicit language while playing video games, especially when the pressure is high. 

Donations ; Spending

Bits are the name of Twitch’s currency. Users can tip streamers for the content they enjoy, and streamers often encourage them to do so. Several advantages of spending Bits on Twitch include unlocking Emotes, a kind of Emoji that can be used within the platform.

What Are The Usual Age Demographics For Users On Twitch?

Twitch launched in 2011 and was purchased by Amazon in 2014. Now, at 140 million users monthly, it rivals other platforms for regular users, including YouTube when it comes to live content.

According to recent statistics, 37.8% of users are below the age of 19 in the United States. This trend extends to users aged between 20-29, which make up a further 40%. This data points to Twitch being one of the fastest-growing platforms for younger users.

While not exclusive to any one medium, most of Twitch’s content is related to the combination of entertainment and video games. Gaming is a market already aligned with a younger audience and future projections expect this trend of young users to continue to rise within the platform.

How Does Twitch Market To Young People?

Twitch offers young people a community of fellow gamers, a spectrum of different entertainment, and niche avenues to explore. While the platform is not known for marketing traditionally, as many of the users are marketing-adverse, there is still much advertising found within Twitch.

Many young people on the platform look up to streamers like regular TV-Stars. Twitch Stars make a living through the platform playing games, commentating on gameplay, or both. This is an appealing and potentially profitable career path for young gamers, encouraged by the platform.

Besides regular internal marketing, many Twitch Streamers make use of the Influencer Marketing Model. Many brands have used famous streamers to advertise their products, including Pizza Hut, Lexus, and Energy Drink Brands.

In recent years, financial corporation Capital One partnered with the Twitch Rivals competition. The platform implemented a creator subscription system to help users support their favorite Streamers financially. The platform is likely to expand on this model.

Can Children Younger than 13 Still Find Ways Of Getting On Twitch?

A recent study proves that 50% of children own a smartphone by the age of 11. The site currently requires new users to input their birthdate, but many young people can easily figure out which year will allow them to bypass this barrier. There are still reportedly many young children on Twitch, including allegations of children younger than ten.

The platform is deeply concerned about young users cheating the system and has implemented ways of preventing them. The platform and other users can report people that look younger than 13, which helps the platform to determine underage users. Twitch also uses algorithms that delete flagged channels and ban suspicious users.

While many people call for Twitch to take more action in preventing underage subscriptions, the issue is complex. Many streaming services and internet sites are facing a similar problem. With more underage people on the internet every year, it is more important than ever that parents remain aware of what their children are doing on their smartphones.

How Can Parents Ensure Their Children Are Being Exposed To Appropriate Content?

A good recommendation is to tune in! From watching just 20 minutes of a stream, a parent will have a sense of the atmosphere of the channel and the personality of the streamer. Twitch features many parental controls, including disabling direct messages with strangers, known on the platform as a whisper.

How To Disable The ‘Whisper’ Function On Twitch To Protect Young Users 

  1. In the top right of the screen, select your child’s username.
  2. From the drop-down menu, select Settings.
  3. Select Security and Privacy.
  4. Click the Privacy setting.
  5. Toggle the function, Block Whispers from Strangers, so that it remains on.

A List Of Age Appropriate Games For Young Twitch Users

Video games adhere to age-content laws very similar to movies and television programs. There are many games that are suitable for children and players under 18. However, it is important to remember that the stream, or the streamer, may not necessarily be in line with the content of the game. Below is a shortlist of popular games on Twitch deemed appropriate for younger users.

  1. Minecraft (Rated Ages 7+)

One of the more popular games on the market, Minecraft is not only considered appropriate for young players but is also considered educational. Players use creativity, problem-solving, and science to create their own worlds in virtual land.

  1. Age Of Empires IV (Rated Ages 12+)

A classic historical game, the fourth installment of Age of Empires is very popular on Twitch. The game follows a civilization from its primitive roots all the way until the Iron Age. While war and battle are an integral part of the experience, a lack of blood and birdseye view ensures the game is appropriate for young players.

  1. Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Rated Ages 3+)

Popular among children and adults, Animal Crossing is known for being one of the more wholesome games available on the market. Players inhabit an open-ended life simulator where they explore a small village of cartoon animals. 

  1. Mario Party Superstars (Rated Ages 3+)

A family favorite, Mario Party Superstars is a fantastic option for gamers of all ages. Players control a selection of characters from the Mario series, operating a virtual game board, performing mini-games to receive points.

Conclusion

The internet is a potentially dangerous place for children. With more people accessing smartphones at increasingly younger ages, it is vital to ensure that your children are protected when experiencing online platforms.

Many users, young and old, find a lot of support and form close bonds with online gaming communities. Twitch offers both a place to explore new modes of entertainment, but also a potential new career path for young gamers to aim for.

Internet security is a nuanced issue. Many people wish for tighter security for younger people to take part and stream on platforms like Twitch. Parental settings and age restrictions help to make the platform a safer and more age-appropriate environment for all users.

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