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Twitch, Facebook viewership increases 45% since 2020

Twitch at the Electronic Entertainment Expo - CC BY-SA

In 2021, the number of live streams has been continuing to rise across numerous platforms, with Twitch and Facebook Gaming both seeing a 45 percent increase in comparison to 2020.

As part of that growth, Twitch saw its audience swell from 17 billion hours watched in 2020 to 24 billion hours in 2021. Despite the network’s ongoing issues, Facebook Gaming has also experienced a spike in users viewing video game streaming, with viewership on the platform increasing by 47 percent year over year to 5.3 billion hours, showing how powerful Facebook is.

Twitch most-watched categories 2021

Known for its live broadcasts of video games and eSports, Twitch has also become a platform for creative content like live music. Therefore, the popularity of various categories and trends on Twitch continues to change with time.

Twitch’s Just Chatting category dominated in 2021, racking up 3.1 billion hours of viewing. GTA V may have surpassed Just Chatting for a few days in May, but it still managed to catch up with the most hours watched. Interestingly, this is the only non-gameplay category with such a strong presence on the platform. Casual streaming, which allows for anything from real-life activities to candid conversations, accounts for its popularity.

Coming in second is Grand Theft Auto V. GTA V has fared exceptionally well with consistent growth, giving the chart-topping Just Chatting category a run for its money, albeit for a few days. The popular game has risen to the top of the rankings thanks to new enhancements to its online role-playing server, as more and more viewers tune in to watch its gameplay.

In terms of peak viewers, the League of Legends arena game hauled in a lot of money. It is well-liked by both gamers and esports fans. A total of 142 thousand viewers watched League of Legends events on Twitch in November 2021, following a peak of 280 thousand viewers when Netflix released the animated series Arcane.

Top streamers of 2021

Felix “xQc” Lengyel has become Twitch’s most-watched streamer for the second year in a row. The Twitch streamer has gained nearly 10 million followers since starting his career on the platform in 2019.

In 2021, xQc accumulated approximately 261 million hours of watching. There has never been another Twitch streamer who has exceeded 200 million hours of viewing. Because the difference between xQc and the next most-watched Twitch broadcaster is so large, it will require a significant drop in viewership for xQc to fail to repeat this feat in 2022.

Gaules slid to the third position, with loud_coringa claiming second place behind xQc. Shroud returned to the top ten, along with MontanaBlack88 and HasanAbi.

In terms of other female streamers on Twitch, Amouranth ended up being the number one female streamer this year. Amouranth achieved a big jump in viewership, climbing all the way up to the 33rd position overall. This was an impressive achievement since she was ranked 160th at the end of 2020. Additionally, she is one of two female streamers who cracked the top 100, with the other being saddummy.