The Internet is ablaze with rumors that Google wants to buy Twitch. Twitch is the world’s biggest video game platform. Gamers, in case you haven’t heard, are obsessive and constant. The Twitch site says it hosts more than 45 million visitors a month. But that’s not even the staggering number. The staggering number is the minutes–13 BILLION minutes a month. Gamers linger–you could even say live–on Twitch, which is basically a broadcasting service for video games–and a community of dedicated gamers. Millions of players broadcast their own games, but even more come to watch–just as they might watch the NFL on Sunday. It’s a free content buffet. The watchers can play afterwards using all strategies they’ve learned as spectators–not, BTW, a recommended course of action for the average NFL fan. With Twitch gamers can comment as they watch, too–and no need for a PC–it can all work right from your gaming console. Soon, probably, it’ll work right from your smartphone. Oh wait, they just did that with Gameloft’s Asphalt 8: Airborne. It was the first ever mobile game to use Twitch’s live streaming. You can even monitor chat from people watching your stream.
Twitch also has the distinction of being the first of the non dot com addresses to ride with the really big players in the Internet’s front seat–the Twitch domain name is twitch.tv. (Twitch.com, very much unlike the raucous video Twitch in Google’s eye, is a modest WordPress blog about classical music whose last post–in December 2013–has something to do with oboes and bassoons.) Twitch seems a little, well, twitchy about how you refer to it–there is a lot of brand and logo instruction here. Twitch also tries to do some good in the world, hosting huge gaming events–Super Bowl-like competitions with enormous participation and viewership–and donating a bunch of dough to charity. If Google wants to double down on its famous “Don’t Be Evil” mantra, Twitch is a good fit.