Why Bernie Sanders Joined Twitch

Bernie Sanders Twitch

Some of you may or may not be aware of the fact that Vermont senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has his own Twitch channel. He has yet to jump into the likes of Fortnite, League of Legends, or even Minecraft, but he is using the platform to try to connect with gamers by talking about his campaign and communicating with those who tune in. While Sanders is not the first candidate to go to Twitch, his director of digital comms, Josh Miller-Lewis, has expanded a bit more on why exactly the presidential candidate can be seen hanging out on Twitch.

"It’s another opportunity, I think, to tap in to a potentially supportive audience that we may not be hitting other ways," Miller-Lewis said. "Our goal with Twitch is to not only let people know what we’re doing on the campaign every day, and what Bernie’s doing — but also hear from them, and bring their opinion into what we’re trying to do and into the political process."

The Sanders campaign's Midwest press secretary, Bill Neidhardt, added to this, mentioning how the instantaneous feedback is valuable. "Twitch is incredibly valuable to our campaign, because you get instantaneous feedback from people you are talking to as the stream is going," Neidhardt said. "Sure, if you post on Twitter, you’ll get some people replying to you, but there’s something about that instantaneous feedback that you get on Twitch that drives our discussion. I mean, if you watch our streams, we’re reading the comments, we are reacting to them."

One tricky part about Sanders being on Twitch is monetization. Sure, streamers can earn money through subscriptions, bits, and donations, but Twitch's policy on the matter is that they demonetize any channel created by a politician. The Sanders campaign was able to essentially bypass this by creating a donation link through Streamlabs, which directs people to the campaign's fundraiser site.

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What do you think about all of this? Are you glad to see Sanders take to Twitch to connect with an audience that might otherwise not know much about his campaign and what he stands for? Sound off in the comment section below, or feel free to hit me up over on Twitter @anarkE7!

[H/t The Verge]