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Twitch Lingo and Streaming Terms

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Key Terms, Lingo, and Slang Used by the Streaming Community

List of Streaming Terms for Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook

The following is a list of common terms that are used within the streaming industry and their definitions. Some are interchangeable among all platforms, while others are specific to one.

What is 4K Streaming?

4K streaming refers to the resolution of video quality. It is a step above 720p or 1080p. While most people don’t have the capability of watching it yet, it is the future of video and streaming. 4K video displays offer 7 million pixels, giving superior quality. 

What is a Stream Admin?

Each platform hires admins who browse channels to ensure that their streamers are following their Terms of Service. When a user reports broken terms, the admins check into it to see if disciplinary actions should take place. You can recognize Twitch admins by a yellow badge to the right of their names.

What is a Twitch Affiliate?

A Twitch affiliate is a streamer who has reached the first milestone needed to monetize their channel. There are four requirements to reach affiliate status. The first is to get 50 followers. You must also stream for 500 minutes over at least seven streams to 3 or more consecutive viewers in 30 days. When broadcasters reach this level, fans can subscribe or cheer for their channel (both give revenue to the streamer). Invitations to become an Affiliate are automated when the requirements are met.

Twitch affiliate week

What are Alerts/Stream Alerts?

Stream alerts are images or animations that pop up during your stream via community interaction. Generally, streamers program them to show up when a viewer follows, subscribes, or donates. They can be customized to represent your brand or have special ones appear under certain conditions.

What is Bandwidth?

Bandwidth is the measurement of bitrate – the amount of data that can be streamed or transferred (over time) from one device to the next or over the internet. 

What is a Twitch Bit?

Bits are a Twitch currency that viewers can use to tip streamers without using a third-party site or application. Users can purchase bits through Twitch at a rate slightly higher than what the streamers earn per bit. At that point, they can cheer for streamers through the channel’s chatbox. Broadcasters make the equivalent of one US penny per bit. Twitch streamers must reach Affiliate status (and enable it as a feature) to earn through this method. People can also earn bits for free through watching ads or filling out surveys.

What is Bitrate?

The term bitrate is used when referring to how fast the streamer’s PC is sending data to the streaming platform. A high bitrate ensures that the stream can be viewed at a higher resolution and frame rate (FPS – Frames Per Second). Your internet provider and plan generally determine your bitrate.

What is a Bot/Chatbot?

A chatbot (such as Nightbot) is an automated feature that streamers use to moderate or enhance their chats. They can be customized or set up to give viewers information about the broadcaster periodically, block messages that contain specific words, or interact with viewer commands.

chatbots-vs-chatbots

What is Botting/Viewbotting?

Against Terms of Service on streaming platforms. Viewbotting is the act of creating or purchasing fake viewers to watch a stream. Most often, the channel owner buys the service. In some cases, however, disgruntled people or competitors will send viewbots to a channel to bring into question the validity of the channel. To learn about what you should do if you are ever maliciously botted, read our post, Why You Should Never Viewbot.

What is a Broadcaster/Streamer?

An individual who live-streams on Twitch, YouTube Live, Facebook Gaming, or other platforms. They can stream from their computers, consoles, and mobile devices. Though the traditional content is video games, many other activities are now streamed daily.

What is Broadcasting Software?

Broadcasting software is the programs broadcasters use to stream live content. Popular applications include StreamLabs OBS (SLOBS), OBS, and Xsplit. Streamers are able to set up the way their feed will look and navigate between several scenes.

What is BTTV (BetterTTV)?

BTTV is a third party site that integrates additional emotes into other platforms. These emotes are visible to other BTTV users.

What is a Capture Card?

A capture card is a device that captures (for recording or broadcasting purposes) what can be seen from a different computer or console. They can be connected directly to a computer’s motherboard via PCIe or can be used externally through a port connected to the computer. 

What is a Live-stream Channel?

The term used for an individual streamer’s live-feed page. It is individualized to them, so that people can visit it even when the broadcaster isn’t streaming.

What is Stream Chat?

Chat refers to the channel’s live chat room. While everyone in the channel can view what is being said, you must have an account to participate. Occasionally, the streamer may make further requirements, such as “followers only.” Users can use both text-based characters and emotes in chat. Some broadcasters have exclusive emotes that can be used by subscribers to that channel. The conversation is moderated by the streamer, admins, platform staff members, mods selected by the broadcaster, and chatbots (see below). 

stream chats mixer twitch youtube

What is a Chatbot?

A chatbot is an automated system that is usually sourced from a third party outside of the stream platform. They can be customized to block comments that contain specific words or links. Preprogrammed commands can give information about the streamer or channel to interested viewers. In some instances, the bot allows the community to interact with certain aspects of a game.

What is a Cheer/Cheering (Twitch) 

When a user donates bits to a streamer, the act is called cheering. Viewers give through the chat and can add a message and cheermotes (see below). If you want to cheer, type “Cheer100” to donate 100 bits. Change the number to donate any amount you wish. 

What are Cheermotes (Twitch)?

Special animated emoticons that can be used when a viewer cheers. Twitch partners can upload their unique emotes to their channels. 

What is a Cheer Badge (Twitch)

This badge is given to viewers who have donated over specific amounts of bits on a channel. The badge will change as more bits are donated. Partnered streamers can design their badges for your viewers.

What is a Chroma Key/Green screen?

A chroma key screen is typically green but can be any color. They are smooth and of one color and are used in filming and photography to replace backgrounds. Streamers use them to hide their environment or to impose their image over another picture or game.

green screen girl

What are Stream Clips?

A clip is a short snippet of a live-stream, generally between 20 seconds to a minute long. These can be taken by viewers and shared to social media accounts. It is a great way to promote a streamer. Clips can also be saved to the broadcaster’s channel for future viewing.

What is a Stream Collab/Collaboration

Collaboration is when two or more streamers work together to create better content. This can be through streaming together, hosting each other, or an exchange of services. Good stream collaborators try to grow each other’s channels.

What are Stream Commands/Chat Commands?

Commands can be set up through a chatbot that allows your viewers to access frequently asked information, keep track of different events, or play games with each other. Available commands are usually listed in the profile section on the broadcaster’s channel. 

What is a Stream Community/Communities?

A term used for one’s following when proper engagement and activity between viewers are achieved. Many communities are built up by utilizing Discord servers run by the broadcaster.

What are Concurrent Viewers?

This is the term used for the number of people watching a stream at the same time. Using SullyGnome or TwitchTracker, you can check the counts for the peak concurrent viewers (the highest amount at the same time during a broadcast). Average concurrent viewers (the total number of hours watched divided by the length of the stream). Live concurrent viewers is the present number of viewers.

What is Cosplay?

The art of dressing as a character or object. Streamers who cosplay typically dress as characters from their game, Marvel/DC, or cult movies. Dressing up can add a fun element to your stream.

What is a Stream Directory?

The collection of live channels separated by categories. Viewers can browse through them or sort them to their liking. Games are typically classified by game names and in the order of popularity. On Twitch, “real life” channels are separated into directories that match the content closest.

What is Discord?

Discord is an application that enables people to speak to each other in real-time over voice or messaging. You are allowed to use your gamertag or stream name to keep anonymity. Individual servers can be created for free, and many streamers build one to better interact with their communities or to collaborate with other broadcasters.

What are Stream Donation/Tips?

Most streamers have a method where their viewers can donate to their stream. It has to be done through a third party system as the broadcasting platform doesn’t have integrated.

What is Elgato?

Elgato is a manufacturer that created equipment designed for streamers. These include capture cards, lighting, green screens, and the popular stream deck (read “stream deck” below for details).

What are Embers (Mixer)?

Embers are the Mixer equivalent of Twitch Bits. They are a virtual currency that Mixer users can use to support their favorite streamers. They are purchased from the platform directly, then can be used on any Partnered channel. One Ember is the equivalent of .01 USD.

What are Stream Emotes/Emoji/Emoticons?

Emotes are small images that can be placed within a text-based chat. They can be accessed through browsing through them or by typing relevant case-sensitive phrases. While each platform has their own emotes, other emotes can be unlocked through platform premium services (such as Twitch Prime). 

Many broadcaster’s channels offer their own emotes, which unlock when a user subscribes. Those subscribers can then use the emotes throughout the platform and on Discord (if the streamer has a linked Discord server). Some viewers also use emote extensions such as BTTV and FFZ for an even wider variety. 

Most platforms also have their own emotes as well, such as the Twitch Global emotes.

What is Fiverr?

Fiverr is an online marketplace for freelancers from around the world. Many streamers commission designers from this platform to create branded graphics, logos, and emotes for their channels. We had our logo designed through Fiverr.

What is a Stream Follow?

The act of the user following a channel. This enables them to receive alerts when a streamer goes live. Users can also easily browse their followed channels on the platform. 

What is a Stream Follower?

A follower is someone who has followed a channel. While they may or may not show up to view the content live, they may stop by if notified. They might also review VODs post-stream.

What is a Stream Friend?

Users can invite other users to be their friend. Users on Twitch can see what their friends statues and what they are watching. They are also alerted when other friends enter the channel they are viewing.

What is a Founders Badge (Twitch)?

The Twitch Founders Badge is a specialty badge added by Twitch in October 2019. The badge is given to the first ten subscribers on affiliated channels and the first 25 subs on partnered channels. Viewers must be currently subscribed to use it.

Twitch founders badge

What is a FPS (First Person Shooter)?

A first-person-shooter is a game genre in which the player sees a battlefield from the game character’s perspective. Popular titles include Counter-Strike: Global Offense (CS:GO), Apex Legends, and Team Fortress 2. 

What are FPS (Frames Per Second)?

Frames per second refer to the speed in which a broadcaster is streaming (or the gamer is playing). It is the number count of how many images are shown in a second’s time. A video streaming at 60 FPS will appear smoother than one streaming at 30 FPS.

What is a Global Moderator?

Global moderators are volunteers who have been given the tools to moderate all channels on Twitch. With high power comes great responsibility. GMs often have to help settle disputes, assist users when asked for help, and moderate popular channels. On Twitch, they can be identified by a dark green ax badge beside their name.

What is a GoXLR?

The GoXLR is a sound mixer that was created with streamers in mind. It features a multi-channel mixer, sampler, different voice effects, a mute button, and many other features. They are easy to set-up and very intuitive to use.

What are Stream Highlights?

Streamers and other users can create smaller VODs from longer ones that have already been recorded and saved. They can be viewed by anyone when they visit that particular channel. 

What is a Stream Host?

The action of broadcasting another streamer’s channel while you are offline. If any of your followers or passerbys watch the hosted channel, their views will be applied to the hosted channel. Hosting often happens with raids. In order to host another channel on Twitch, the first streamer types /host name-of-other-channel. To stop hosting, they would need to type /unhost.

What is a HUD (Head-Up Display)?

HUDS are overlays that are often used by streamers who broadcast from two or more angles and want to have a branded “background” behind/over it. They are customizable to your taste. They are also if you are streaming from Mobile and want info on either side of the mobile screen. 

What is HypeZone (Mixer)?

HypeZone is a channel on Mixer that jumps from stream to stream in five different games. When you join the channel, you watch someone at the most exciting part of the game. For example, if you were watching the Fortnite HypeZone, you would be watching one of the last remaining players in a random round. When that player dies or wins, the channel jumps to a new stream where players battle it out for the endgame. Currently, there are HypeZones for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Fortnite Battle Royale, Rainbow 6 Siege, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, and Apex Legends.

What is Kappa?

Kappa is one of the most popular emotes on Twitch. It is the black-and-white image of Josh DeSeno’s face. DeSeno worked for Justin.TV on the chat client. Other popular emotes on Twitch included LUL, TriHard, and PogChamp. 

What is Latency?

Latency is the term that defines the time taken for data to be transferred. It is the measurement of how long it takes from the actual filming to where it can be viewed. In reverse, there is often a delay from the time a viewer types a message in chat with when the streamer can read it. As a streamer, you want to have your latency as low as possible to give your viewers the best experience. 

What is the Level Up Program (Facebook Gaming)?

Facebook Gaming’s Level Up program is similar to the Affiliate/Partner programs on other platforms. It allows streamers to monetize their channels so that they can potentially earn through subscriptions and Facebook Stars.

To apply, you must have had an active account for 30 days, have at least 100 followers. You must also have streamed game-related content at least twice for four or more hours within the last two weeks.

What is a Stream Marathon?

A marathon is when a broadcaster streams for an extended period. This is often to test their endurance as well as build hype for their channels. Marathon streams are typically 12 or 24 hours long but have been known to go longer. Some broadcasters choose to spend their time on one category, while others jump for variety.

Many marathons are in support of charities or to raise awareness for a cause. Others are as a “thank you” to viewers when you meet a specific milestone or to push toward new goals. 

What is a Stream Mod/Moderator?

Broadcasters can choose some of their viewers to be moderators. These mods enforce the channel’s rules by removing inappropriate chats, hand out time-outs, or banning disruptive users. When given this role, Twitch moderators are given a green sword badge next to their name.

What is Muxy?

Muxy is a platform that provides stream alerts, chatbots, payment processing, and other useful widgets for streamers. These free products help streamers interact with their viewers on a daily basis. 

What is Nightbot?

Nightbot is one of the most used chatbots available for free. It is easy to use, and streamers can set up a host of commands and features for their viewers.

What is OBS (Open Broadcasting Software)?

OBS is short for “Open Broadcast Software.” OBS is one of the most popular streaming software. It is free to use and open-sourced. Streamers can broadcast through OBS to Twitch, YouTube, or another platform so that is can be viewed. While the user interface isn’t as easy to use as StreamLabs OBS (see below), there are many tutorials available.

What is an Offline Screen?

An offline screen is used when a broadcaster isn’t using a channel for streaming or hosting. Well designed offline banners point viewers in the direction of the streamer’s social media, gives a feel of the brand, and shows a schedule.

sample-twitch-offline-banner

What is a Stream Overlay?

An overlay is a graphic that is used to add distinctive elements to your screen. Streamers generally use them to border their webcam or cover sensitive information. The best Twitch overlays reflect the spirit of the streamer’s branding.

What are Stream Panels?

Panels are sectioned potions of a streamer’s profile which is shown beneath the video player in a channel. Broadcasters can set up widgets, links, text information, and pictures in this section. Well designed channels will direct users to areas where they can interact with the creator’s community more.

Most streamers use free Twitch panels to separate information about themselves, chat rules, their broadcast schedule, links to their social media, a tip/donation button, subscriber perks, and more. 

What is a Mixer Partner?

A partner on Mixer is a streamer who has met all the requirements for partnership. Their viewers can now subscribe to their channels, donate Embers to them, and use channel-specific emotes. To apply for partnership, a streamer must have an account that is at least two months old and 2,000 followers.

They must have streamed 12 or more times within the last 30 days for at least 25 hours. They must fully follow the Terms of Service and the Rules of User Conduct. Additionally, they must have a channel that is unique, professional, and builds community.

What is a Twitch Partner?

A partner on Twitch is a streamer who has met the requirements for Twitch partnership. This shouldn’t be confused with Twitch Affiliates who have reached the first monetization requirements. Twitch partners are offered a few extra perks that Affiliates don’t have. They can make their custom cheermotes (for when people cheer with bits), can unlock up to 60 emote slots, and have full access to transcoding options.

Partners also have their payout fees covered by Twitch instead of having to pay for them. Twitch Affiliates must meet the requirements for partnership before applying. The requirements are to have streamed for at least 12 days and 25 or more hours within the last month. You must also have an average of 75 concurrent viewers.

What is Patreon?

Patreon is a third-party membership platform that gives streamers (and other content creators) another way to be financially supported by their fans. It can be integrated with Discord.

What is Pog/Poggers?

Pog, Poggers, and other variations of the word are in reference to the PogChamp emote on Twitch. They are also BTTV emotes that other BTTV users can see.

What is Twitch Prime?

Twitch Prime is an optional feature for Twitch users through Amazon. Twitch Prime gives users special global emotes, the ability to change the color of their name in chat, and game perks. They also can subscribe to one channel per month for free.

What is a Twitch Raid?

At the end of a stream, a broadcaster may choose to raid another channel with their viewers. It is the process of hosting the channel, then going into it with your viewers who typically spam the chat with hype. While viewers usually follow the new streamer, most don’t return to the new channel, though some do.

The boost in viewers may help other users find the channel easier, so it can be very beneficial. Streamers should use raiding as a networking tool to get the most benefit from it.

What are Mixer Sparks? (Mixer)

Sparks are a site-wide currency on Mixer. They are earned through streaming or by watching other streams. You can collect them faster if you subscribe to the channel you’re watching. Sparks can be used to interact on streams by spending them on specific actions. Mixer Pro accounts will also earn more Sparks per minute.

What is Squad Mode/Twitch Squad Mode (Twitch)?

Squad mode is the built-in ability for up to four streamers to broadcast simultaneously on the same screen. It was added in March 2019. These streams can be created through the streamer’s dashboard using the Squad Stream widget.

What is Stream Staff?

Staff roles belong to actual employees of the platform in question. They occasionally are seen typing in chat and can be identified with a staff badge. On Twitch, this badge is black with a wrench.

What are Facebook Stars (Facebook Gaming)?

Stars on Facebook Gaming are similar to Bits on Twitch. They are an on-platform currency that can be purchased by the user to tip their favorite streamers. Facebook Gaming broadcasters who are part of the Level Up program can redeem them once they reach $100 worth or more. Each star is worth .01 USD.

What is a Stream/Streaming?

Streaming is the act of broadcasting sound and images from their computer through software such as OBS to a platform like Twitch or YouTube for others to view.

What is a Stream Deck?

A device that allows its user to set up scene changes, sound effects, and other multi-key functions so that they can easily be played on screen with just a touch of a button. They can be pre-programmed with a variety of functions for several programs or activities. Elgato creates the most popular stream deck.

What is Stream Elements?

Stream Elements is a third-party platform that offers overlays, chatbots, widgets, and other free products to streamers on Twitch, YouTube, and Facebook. 

What is Streamlabs?

Streamlabs is another third-party platform that offers widgets, chatbots, and more for streamers on Twitch, YouTube, Facebook, Periscope, and Picarto. Streamlabs is also the creator of SLOBS. 

What is SLOBS (StreamLabs OBS)?

StreamLabs OBS is a slightly more accessible version of OBS. It is effortless to integrate other StreamLabs products into it, and they are creating partnerships that will help their streamers in the long run. (Such as with Jingle Punks Music.

What is a Stream Marker?

A stream marker is a marker that is added to a live-stream by the broadcaster or their moderators. Stream markers allow the content creator to easily access certain parts of the stream quickly at a later time. The creator can then create clips or export highlights for editing. 

What is a Stream Subscription?

A subscription is a monthly payment to receive benefits from a channel. Benefits include no adds and use of the channel emotes. The streamer may add additional benefits at their will. To subscribe to a channel on Twitch, the streamer must be an Affiliate or Partner.

A percentage of the subscription goes to the streamer, while the remainder goes to the platform. Monthly subscriptions cost 4.99 USD for Tier 1, 9.99 for Tier 2, and 24.99 for Tier 3 subscriptions. A user subscribing on an iOS device will pay more due to iOS fees. 

YouTube Gaming streamers must have reached a partnership level to accept memberships. Memberships cost 4.99 USD per month.

streamer red room

What is a Stream Team?

Partnered channels on Twitch can choose to create Twitch teams. These teams can work with each other to collaborate and build each other’s communities. Not all channels on a team must be partnered. 

What is Transcoding?

Transcoding is the process used by a streaming platform to reduce the quality of a stream. The act of transcoding allows more users to view it. Some devices are unable to view streams at their original quality, so the act of reducing bitrate allows more people to see the broadcast. Transcoding is done a viewer-by-viewer basis. 

What is Twitch Turbo? (Twitch)

An alternative (and predecessor) to Twitch Prime. Twitch Turbo costs 8.99 USD per month. It allows the user to watch Twitch ad-free (with some exceptions), extra emotes, a chat badge, and more.

What is a Verified Badge (Twitch)

The Twitch verified badge is a purple icon that is awarded to partnered channels. It can be seen in any chat on Twitch.

What is Video on Demand (VOD)?

A VOD is a video of a past stream that is viewable on the streaming platform. Viewers can watch streams that they missed or view scenes over and over. VODs can be renamed and given a thumbnail by the streamer.

On Twitch, VODs will be deleted 14 days after they were created for affiliated and non-affiliated channels. Partnered channel VODs will remain for 60 days. Highlighted VODs will stay on the channel until the streamer deletes them.

Watch Twitch on TV

What are Stream Views?

The view count is the number of times a user has seen the streamer over the lifetime of the channel. You can also see how many views a VOD has received on the VOD channel. A viewer doesn’t need to watch the whole stream to be counted.

What are Stream Viewers?

People who are watching a stream from their devices. To be counted, each person must use their own device.

What is Visuals by Impulse?

Visuals by Impulse is a design company that specializes in Twitch graphics and animations. They create personalized overlays, logos, emotes, and more for a fee. They also have a selection of free resources for new streamers. 

What is a Stream Whisper?

A stream whisper is a private direct message that you can send to your friends or other users on the streaming platform. The message will only be seen by you and the individual you submitted it to. Whispers can be seen within the chat and in a special message box. You can disable whispers from individuals you don’t know if you wish.

What is XSplit?

XSplit is a professional paid broadcasting software. It has extra features that are not available for free software. It also has a VCam option that acts as a chroma key remover without the use of a physical green screen. 

About the Author

Luci

Luci is a novelist, freelance writer, and active blogger. A journalist at heart, she loves nothing more than interviewing the outliers of the gaming community who are blazing a trail with entertaining original content.

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