Back in 2006, Google purchased YouTube for $1.65 billion, a move that confirmed YouTube as the source of all things video-related on the Internet. (At eBaum’s World, this event is referred to as “The Apocalypse.”) The great wheel of capitalism spins ever forward, and so Variety reports that YouTube is planning to buy Twitch for more than $1 billion. “What is Twitch?” you might be asking. “Is that what the kids are all about nowadays, twitching and tweeting and tumbling?”
Sort of. Twitch is most easily described as “YouTube for Videogames” — it lets users upload video of gameplay, which can stream directly from consoles like the Xbox One or the Playstation 4. Twitch claims 45 million monthly viewers. It recently made digital headlines for a social experiment called “Twitch Plays Pokémon,” which is one of those only-on-the-Internet things that either makes complete sense to you or proves definitively that we are living in an Orwellian nightmare future.
The company has seen rapid expansion in recent months. An earlier Variety report noted that Twitch represented 1.35% of all downstream bandwidth in North American broadband networks. (That’s bigger than HBO Go — and unlike HBO Go, Twitch doesn’t require users to steal their parents’ password.) YouTube itself has seen it share of downstream usage decline this year, which helps to explain the Twitch purchase, not to mention those inescapable ads about how YouTube turns you into a wacky blue-haired chef or whatever.