How does the Twitch algorithm work in 2021?


Do you want to know how the Twitch algorithm functions? Are you intrigued about how discoverability works on Twitch? If so, we’re here to quench your thirst (for knowledge).

This article will highlight all the basics about the Twitch algorithm and how it functions. Firstly, it will outline what the Twitch algorithm is. Then it will elucidate how the Twitch recommendation algorithm works to link audiences with streamers based on factors affecting discoverability and two tools used by the Twitch algorithm to recommend streams to users.

Does the Twitch algorithm still show streams with the highest user engagement rates to audiences on the main page?

What is the Twitch algorithm?

Now you’re probably wondering what the Twitch algorithm is and how it works. Most streamers are still skeptical that the Twitch algorithm merely recommends streams with the most views on the main page. However, it is crucial to remember the update to Twitch’s algorithm only last year in this regard.

Before updating Twitch’s algorithm in 2020, you could only see streams with the highest number of viewers on the Twitch main page. However, after updating Twitch’s algorithm last year, viewers started seeing streams similar to the content they usually watched. In addition, the algorithm now recommended streamers to viewers who usually viewed and followed similar streamers on Twitch.

2020 Update

This update significantly mitigated the damage done to small streamers on Twitch who had meager discoverability rates due to how the Twitch algorithm had functioned. Moreover, this also optimized the Twitch experience for viewers by showing them relevant streamers and content on their feeds. This meant that now popular streamers were not the only ones discovered by audiences on Twitch. Small streamers had an equal chance to be discovered by audiences and grow their channel communities.

Therefore, the new and updated Twitch algorithm is unequivocally not what it used to be! Instead, the Twitch algorithm in 2021 is a nuanced system that works on the concept of recommendations to help connect streamers and audiences to optimize their Twitch experiences. The following section of this article outlines how Twitch recommendations work in detail so you can get insight into the workings of the new and updated 2021 Twitch algorithm.

The updated Twitch algorithm functions on a series of factors that affect discoverability on Twitch. Moreover, the Twitch algorithm uses various tools to make recommendations. We have outlined both of these factors in the following sections.

Factors Affecting Discoverability

Several factors are affecting the ability of your streams to be recommended by the Twitch algorithm to users. Some of these factors are pretty obvious. However, you may also find some new and interesting facts about what precisely enables your streams to be recommended more and discovered more easily.


Firstly, right off the bat, the rank of a stream is the primary and most significant factor affecting your streams’ discoverability on Twitch. The Twitch algorithm has already been notorious for recommending streams onto the main page based solely on the number of views and other user engagement metrics such as chatbox activity and the number of views we shall encounter later.

Therefore, if you’re a small streamer looking to get discovered on Twitch, you should unequivocally realize that despite the 2020 update to the algorithm, the rank will remain the primary factor affecting discoverability on Twitch. However, several other elements affect discoverability that you can take advantage of to perfect your content and audience interactivity.

Off Twitch Brand

Moreover, a prominent factor affecting discoverability on Twitch is your off-Twitch branding. This implies how well you advertise your streams on other forums and third-party platforms. We have provided a list of various forums you can use in conjunction with your Twitch channel to increase your channel’s credibility and get recommended more frequently by the Twitch algorithm. However, you can find additional information on several such forums in these two articles.

  1. YouTube for VODs
  2. Discord for audience interaction
  3. Facebook advertising
  4. Instagram advertising
  5. Twitter advertising
  6. Snapchat advertising
  7. Reddit blog posting of streaming content
  8. Pinterest blog posting of streaming content
  9. Tumblr blog posting
  10. Tik Tok advertising
  11. Vimeo
  12. Dailymotion
  13. Medium

Feature Chat Velocity

In addition, feature chat velocity is also a crucial factor affecting your channel’s discoverability on Twitch. The Twitch algorithm considers how chatty the audience usually is in your streams to suggest streams with high user engagement to streamers in general. Moreover, if your streams have high chat velocity or activity, Twitch will explicitly recommend them to viewers who usually like watching such streams.

The amount of activity in your chat box while streaming is an integral factor that affects your ability to be discovered on Twitch.

It would be best if you keep your audience engaged in the chatbox. It would help if you always kept talking in your stream, so viewers respond to you in the chatbox. Furthermore, you can also utilize channel emotes to make your chat box more exciting leading to high chat velocity. Moreover, remember to always reply to viewers’ questions, ask them how they’re doing, what games they like, etc.

Streaming Category

The streaming category is also another obvious factor affecting discoverability on Twitch. The Twitch algorithm is likely to recommend cooking streams to users who usually view cooking streams. The Recommendations tab on Twitch functions based on this primary principle. If your preferred streams to view are games, then the recommendations tab also additionally includes streams from your favorite types of games, for example, physical combat games.

This means that the Twitch algorithm will also recommend the game types for which you watch the most streams. This exciting feature allows viewers to discover small streamers from unpopular streaming categories and niches. And, believe it or not, there’s a demand for every kind of streaming category and game you can think of on Twitch!

Streaming Niche

Moreover, the niche of your streams is also a significant factor that shapes your channel’s discoverability on Twitch. Niche implies the sort of games you play or, to be particular, the specific games you play on Twitch, for example, Fortnite. The Twitch algorithm recommends streams of specific games to viewers who usually watch streams of those games. Therefore, you can now access streams from different streamers playing the same games in your Recommendations tab on Twitch!

The Twitch algorithm also recommends streams based on the streaming niche, such as a specific game.

Streamer’s Personality

In addition, the personality of the streamer is also a pertinent factor that affects discoverability on Twitch. For example, the Twitch algorithm is likely to pick up streams from talkative streamers to show audiences who enjoy viewing chatty streams. Moreover, if you incorporate a lot of humor, such as puns or absurdity, into your streams, then the algorithm will most likely recommend them to people who like viewing funny streams.

Twitch Brand

In addition, your Twitch brand is also a crucial factor that affects your channel’s discoverability. For instance, channel optimization and customization through extensions significantly build your channel’s credibility, increasing its discoverability rate.

You can use channel emotes to decorate your chat box and customize your channel.

Similarly, you can use emotes to decorate your chat boxes, design fictitious characters for your channel, use graphic designing, etc., to embellish your channel and make your twitch brand stand out. The Twitch algorithm is likely to recommend your channel in general and specific to streamers who like viewing neat, unique, and exciting channels for their content.

Number of Complete Views

Moreover, to get discovered fast on Twitch and have the Twitch algorithm recommend your streams to users, you also need to ensure viewers watch your streams to the end. The number of complete views on your streams determines the quality of your content better than any other metric.

This is significant because it is a known fact that there are few ways for the Twitch algorithm to determine the quality of content to recommend. However, if your channel has unique content, funny streams, embellished chat boxes, or strong advertising and branding, it would have many complete views on streams.


Moreover, hosting other streams also causes the Twitch algorithm to recommend your streams to audiences more. This is especially advantageous for audiences that enjoy viewing host streams from their favorite streamers. As a result, such audiences are recommended host streams on their main page more often.

Stream Raiding

Stream raiding is also another factor that allows for greater discoverability on Twitch. The Twitch algorithm is likely to pick up on stream raids to recommend to viewers who enjoy watching raids in particular.

The Twitch algorithm recommends stream raiding content to viewers who like watching raids after the 2020 update.


In addition, co-streaming also affects your channel’s discoverability on Twitch. Co-streaming is when you play a game with another streamer if you’re a gaming streamer, for instance. You can use various third-party applications or play games that allow streamers to stream together simultaneously.


Finally, contests are also a factor that affects discoverability on Twitch. Contests are a great way to engage your subscribers and also attract new viewers. Moreover, the Twitch algorithm also tends to recommend streams with contests to viewers who like watching such streams.

Twitch Recommendations Tools

Moreover, there are also various tools that the Twitch algorithm utilizes to make recommendations and show appropriate streams to users on the application. The Twitch algorithm primarily uses two excellent tools for this purpose: the streaming category and tags.

Streaming Category

We already covered the streaming category above as a significant and noticeable factor that affects your channel’s discoverability on Twitch. However, the Twitch algorithm also uses the streaming category to add relevant streams to your Recommendations tab.


Finally, tags are a great feature on Twitch that allows the Twitch algorithm to describe streams beyond the streaming category or streaming niche. Viewers can access tags for browsing tags within Twitch’s tag directory or search for particular tags. In addition, tags are also visible on the main page. However, it is imperative to remember that streamers can not create specific tags. Instead, twitch makes tags and adds new ones to the Twitch Tag Directory almost daily based on feedback from streamers and viewers.

Tags are an essential tool used by the algorithm to categorize and sort out content.

#Types of Tags

Moreover, there are three main types of tags on Twitch that the Twitch algorithm uses to connect streamers and viewers through the Recommendations tab on the main page. These are stream tags, category tags, and automatic tags.

Stream Tags

The algorithm applies Stream Tags to channels that qualify for various content types. In addition, they can also be added to streams by creators who can add up to five tags for one stream.

Category Tags

Moreover, Twitch applies category tags to different streaming categories. Therefore, content creators can not add category tags to their streams themselves.

Automatic Tags

Finally, automatic tags are another type of tag that can only be applied to streams by the Twitch algorithm, based on various conditions about the content in the stream.

#Categories of Tags

Additionally, the various tags in the Twitch Tag Directory are all based on distinct categories of information. This can range from gender identity to nationality. We have listed some of the tag categories that exist in the directory:

  1. Nationality
  2. Sexual orientation
  3. Gender identity
  4. Music genre
  5. Ethnicity
  6. Disability
  7. Mental disorders
  8. Languages
  9. Software/Program type (e.g. C++)
  10. League of Legends characters
  11. Educational subjects or fields (e.g., math, engineering)
  12. Movie genres
  13. Religious beliefs
  14. Hobbies (e.g., painting, jewelry making)
  15. New World tags
  16. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive maps
  17. Gaming modes
  18. Gaming genres

You can find various tags on Twitch, such as tags for nationalities, gender variant, and LGBTQ communities.

#Additional Information on Tags

Moreover, you can find additional information on Twitch tags, how streamers can use tags to increase their content’s discoverability, and answers to FAQs on tags by visiting this link.

In Conclusion

To sum it up, the Twitch algorithm update in 2021 enabled streams to now be recommended to users based on not only their rank. Additionally, twelve primary factors affect your channel’s discoverability on Twitch which have been outlined in detail above: rank, off-Twitch brand, feature chat velocity, streaming category, streaming niche, streamer’s personality, Twitch brand, number of complete views, hosting, stream raiding, co-streaming and contests.

Moreover, the Twitch algorithm utilizes the streaming category and tags to add the aptest streams to users’ Recommendations tab on the main page. Tags are a great way to categorize streams on Twitch, and there are primarily three major types of tags: stream tags, category tags, and automatic tags. Streamers can only add the first type of tags to their streams. Finally, the algorithm categorizes tags based on various categories of information such as sexual orientation and gaming modes.

However, if you want to learn more about the Twitch algorithm, you should unequivocally consider signing up for our services. AudienceGain is committed to helping you gain the perfect insight into the workings of the Twitch algorithm so that you can increase your channel’s discoverability rate now.

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