In August of 2014, Amazon purchased the popular Twitch game streaming service for $970 million to a bit of head scratching in the tech world.
On the surface, streaming live games on the Internet doesn’t really fit into Amazon’s core business and why pay so much for something it really doesn’t need?
Amazon themselves and others have pointed to a “natural” fit with its cloud computing platform and the possibility to use Twitch as a content provider (marketplace) to gamers.
Of course adding a content/marketplace would mean first signs of real monetization of the purchase and they have announced partnerships with game developers in which Twitch Streamers also get a cut from purchases.
But is there more to it?
This week Twitch rolled out Pulse, a kind of Twitter/Facebook feature, that builds off the Channel Feed feature that Twitch rolled out in beta earlier this month, allowing streamers to post updates to their own pages.
The Pulse feature is still rolling out to all users of Twitch as is the Channel Feed feature, so it will take a little time to see how this all plays out and how Twitch users will use these core social media style functions.
Now consider this, top Twitch Streamers have over 1 million followers each, and just like Twitter, any Twitch user can contribute to their audience which will be seen by friends and followers. Sound familiar?
While all eyes are focused on Twitch being a gaming platform, remember that Twitter started out as a local San Francisco tech community SMS broadcast style service before it gained traction and became a worldwide mass user social media phenomenon.
Back to Twitch (and Pulse), there are already non-gaming categories such as Twitch Creative and Social Eating, so the idea of going off script into non-gaming related segments is also not new to Twitch.
Bottom line, it is not out of the realm of possibility to see a tie in between Twitch Creative and Amazon Handmade and with over 100 million users and growing, additions of Twitter/Facebook like features, it is worth to keep an eye on where Twitch is really going.
Google reportedly bailed on Twitch due to antitrust concerns with YouTube, so could Twitch be used by Amazon to create a YouTube type service for its eCommerce platform?
Amazon is not typically a niche player, so is Twitch be the next major social media powerhouse, financed and supported by the largest eCommerce retailer in the world?
Imagine the possibilities…