Out of the Game and Into the Tub: Twitch Stars Embrace Free Style Streaming
Twitch made its name broadcasting gamers battling through League of Legends or surviving vicious Fortnite firefights. But these days, the stars of the platform come more for the chat than the game. Meet the freestyle streamers – a new generation gaining followers just by living life out loud.
At the forefront is Imane, better known by her handle, Pokimane. Broadcasting everything from Just Chatting marathons to IRL eats, Pokimane holds court for 4.5 million followers. They tune in not for pro plays but for her chill, girlfriend-next-door vibe.
Similarly, QTCinderella has built a buzzy community around her gutsy humour and unfiltered takes on sharing stories or reviewing memes. It’s like watching a friend’s Instagram Live, but way funnier. Even politicians are taking the mic like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez raising campaign funds on her Twitch channel. Plus, there is an evergrowing number of Twitch streamers who fanatically watch evaanna Twitch on StreamRecorder.
Yet the hottest trend comes from the bathtubs. Streamers like Amouranth, Indiefoxx, and BonnieBooXOX have racked up viewers by bubbling in hot tubs on camera. They float inflatable flamingos, munch snacks, and casually chat about life or gaming gossip. Simps cheer them on with endless donations and subscription tips. It’s more silly than seedy, but the splashy trend has made waves.
Some grumbled that the streamers made Twitch too much like an anything-goes reality show. But even haters can’t resist rubbernecking. Controversy only pumps up their numbers, with Amouranth claiming over 33,000 paying subscribers. Twitch hasn’t cracked down, but they did update guidelines requiring “appropriate attire” in pools, hot tubs and beaches.
Thirst trapping in swimwear is still A-OK, though as long as it’s not outright exploitative.
While gamers remain Twitch’s bread and butter, free-style chatty streams account for over 20% of airtime logged. The platform has morphed into both a primetime comedy club and casual confession booth. For streamers chasing fame and fortune from the comfort of home, plopping down in an inflatable pool and kicking up their feet may be the ultimate dream stream jo
The next generation of stars are set to push boundaries even further, chasing views and validation. Will hot tub streaming lead down a slippery slope to racier content? Or will the novelty wear off when every other streamer sets up a kiddie pool in their bedroom? For now, the hijinks rage on display – warts, tan lines and all.
But on the internet, yesterday’s sensation has a way of washing out. We’ll see who can stay afloat on the sea of competing home broadcasters angling for attention. One thing’s for sure: on Twitch, games now share the spotlight with some free-spirited – and often R-rated – streaming antics playing out live in the tub.