There are several live streaming options available for creators today. Two of the most popular are Twitch and Instagram. But how do these two platforms compare?
Which Is Better For Streaming: Twitch Or Instagram?
Twitch is better for streaming than Instagram. Twitch offers more monetization options, a better streaming experience, and more room for growth as a streamer.
Although Twitch is better overall, there are some things that Instagram does do nicely. Keep reading as I go over the pros and cons for streaming on each platform.
Twitch Pros & Cons
|Twitch Pros||Twitch Cons|
|Several tools for creators||Poor sub splits|
|Diverse monetization options||No discoverability|
|Platform is dedicated to live streaming|
Despite the criticisms of Twitch, they do offer a robust streaming platform for streamers and viewers. And the fact that the platform is dedicated to live streaming means all their focus goes solely to live streaming.
But, they aren’t perfect. Twitch’s horrendous sub splits (50%) and lack of discoverability has caused streamers to consider other platforms. So what does Instagram have to offer for streamers?
Instagram Pros & Cons
|Instagram Pros||Instagram Cons|
|100% sub revenue to creators||Can’t go live natively on PC|
|Discoverability options||Few community engagement tools|
|No feed for live streams|
|Limited monetization options on the platform|
|Stream duration is capped|
One of the major selling points of Instagram Live is that they currently give 100% of subscription revenue to their streamers.
That means you could potentially make double what you would on a Twitch stream through subs. They also have great tools for being discovery like their reels and regular page feed. However, they do have several things holding them back when it comes to live streaming.
For instance, a live stream on Instagram is more of an additional engagement tool for creators to use with their audience. It’s definitely not a major focus, and this is evident in what it offers, or rather doesn’t offer.
Now let’s compare these two platforms more in-depth in regards to the most important parts of live streaming: discoverability, monetization, stream quality / UI, and growth.
Twitch and Instagram are tied when it comes to discoverability. Although Instagram has more ways for your page to be discovered (Reels, Instagram feed, etc.), they only push your live streams to those who follow you. There is no feed to find live streams.
Twitch does not have any discoverability tools, but it is easier for people to find your stream through browsing the platform. They don’t have to be following you to see that you are live either.
Now it is unlikely someone will find your stream through Twitch, especially if you are streaming in a competitive category, but at least you will appear in their feed.
For this reason, many streamers create content on Instagram, and then try to push people who find that content over to Twitch.
Twitch and Instagram are tied when it comes to monetization as well. Although Instagram pays out 100% of badge revenue (their version of subs) to creators, they don’t have other monetization options besides badges on the platform.
On the contrary, Twitch has many monetization options such as subs, gifted subs, ad revenue, and Twitch bits.
Although Twitch’s sub-split is 50% for the creator, 50% for Twitch (which is admittedly horrible), they still have more options for people to choose from who want to support their favorite streamer.
Other things like sponsorships, affiliate marketing, and brand deals can be done on either platform and so neither gets in edge in these categories.
Stream Quality / UI
Twitch has better stream quality and a better UI experience than Instagram. With Instagram, you can only go live on your phone which makes streaming quality less than ideal. Also, the interface on their streams is very basic and not as customizable as Twitch.
While you can go live on Instagram with your PC using third party tools, it can be tricky and these work arounds may not always produce the best stream quality.
Furthermore, Instagram streams are capped at 4 hours. That means that those long, grindy type of streams can’t take place on Instagram.
Overall, Instagram Live is meant to be a fun and simple way for people to interact with their followers on Instagram. The Instagram platform as a whole is not optimized for live streaming and therefore the quality and tools for streams are limited.
As far as live streaming is concerned, you will be more likely to grow your stream on Twitch than on Instagram. Like I previously mentioned, Instagram is not built for live streaming.
They don’t offer tools and benefits that help build your community in a meaningful way. The badges they offer for your supporters only last 90 days, and they don’t have any special emotes.
Additionally, the live streams you do on Instagram aren’t saved on the platform. You have the option to download your streams to your phone right after your stream, but after that they are deleted.
This makes it impossible for yourself or others to go back later and find clips and highlights of your stream to share on other platforms which can help grow your brand.
If you have a following on Instagram, and want to do a short special stream with your followers, then Instagram is good for that. But if you want to truly grow as a live streamer, then Twitch is a much better option.
Can You Stream To Both Twitch And Instagram?
You can stream to both Twitch and Instagram. In August, 2022 Twitch changed its policy regarding streaming on other platforms allowing for Twitch Affiliates and Twitch Partners to stream to both Twitch and Instagram simultaneously.
Since this change, several streamers have begun multi-streaming to both Twitch and Instagram as a way to expand their reach as a creator.
If you are a streamer, there is no reason not to stream to other platforms simultaneously. It helps you get more content out to different platforms, and doesn’t require any extra work.
Is Instagram Good For Twitch?
Instagram is a good social media platform to use if you want to grow on Twitch. Instagram has a powerful algorithm that helps push out your content to potential viewers.
Twitch doesn’t have a discovery system on their platform. For this reason you will have to rely on other platforms to grow your stream.
And for most streamers, these alternative platforms are Twitter, Youtube, TikTok, and Instagram. Overall, Instagram has some neat features, but Twitch is better for live streaming.
For even more streaming tips and how-to content check out my Youtube channel here. And if you want to check out my streams then stop by my Twitch channel here.
Eric streams 3 days a week on Twitch and uploads weekly to Youtube under the moniker, StreamersPlaybook. He loves gaming, PCs, and anything else related to tech. He’s the founder of the website StreamersPlaybook and loves helping people answer their streaming, gaming, and PC questions.