Donald Trump has started the quest for his re-election. While he has always used social media to interact and express his opinion, he is taking it to the next level – he will stream his 2020 campaign on the game-streaming platform, Twitch.
The first rally of Trump's 2020 campaign, in Minneapolis was streamed live on his Twitch channel on Thursday.
At the time of writing, even though it had not started streaming, the channel had 115,388 views.
Trump is not the first US Presidential candidate to start streaming campaigns on Twitch – he has followed in the footsteps of Bernie Sanders who already has a Twitch channel.
Twitch has been used mostly for live game streams, but it is increasingly streaming other content – such as Amazon's Thursday Night Football.
Twitch is mainly designed for game streaming and doesn't offer any special space to politicians. Yet, the fact that politicians for both sides are using the platform for promoting their campaigns goes to show the reach this genre-specific streaming platform has.
It's also interesting, that, of all candidates, Donald Trump has chosen to stream his campaign on Twitch. The channel is owned by Amazon, a company that has come under regular criticism from the US president since its CEO also owns The Washington Post, which is perceived to be left-leaning.
Twitch has popularity with not just gamers, but also politicians since moderation on the platform has been lesser than platforms such as YouTube and Facebook. Social media platforms came under scrutiny during the previous election and were accused of being used as tools by foreign entities to influence the election. Twitch is yet to face such scrutiny.
Trump has also increasingly dwelled on the mental health effects of gaming – it held a meeting earlier this year to discuss violent video-game exposure and its correlation to desensitisation and aggression.