The latest variation on the “Twitch Plays” theme invites armchair investors to take on Wall Street. An Amazon engineer named Mike Roberts is behind StockStream, a live broadcast that trades stocks based on the preferences of its viewers.
StockStream, like other Twitch Plays broadcasts, is controlled through Twitch’s chat window. Viewers can write messages indicate the stocks they wish to buy or sell, and every five minutes, StockStream will execute the transaction that has been requested the most times during that interval. So far, the channel’s players have opted to buy shares of well-known companies like Google, Apple, and Tesla. They’ve also shown a preference for the video game industry, scooping up shares of Activision and Sony. This is Twitch, after all.
The choices made by StockStream’s viewers have very real implications. As noted by Business Insider, Roberts has put $50,000 of his own savings on the line, and he is trusting his followers to invest it wisely rather than troll him. So far, the Twitch audience has done okay. It has allocated more than half of Roberts’ funds and has yet to either gain or lose a significant amount of money.
At the time of this post, StockStream has about 2,200 concurrent viewers, so it is a notable broadcast to keep an eye on but remains far from the viral heights achieved by Twitch Plays Pokemon back in 2014. That stream brought it more than 80,000 concurrent viewers at its peak, and Roberts should probably be happy that he doesn’t have that many fans. If he did, they would probably try to figure out the best way to invest in Helix Fossil futures.