Twitch‘s year-end recap has broken down the 21 billion hours of traffic that viewers delivered to their favorite streamers this year. The Amazon-owned platform noted that its creative community went live for a total of 788 million hours throughout 2022.
2022 brought some rising trends to Twitch, with the Vtuber and game show communities experiencing significant growth. The platform summed up its eventful year with a blog post. “This year, we came together like never before for [God of War] Ragnarok, inaugural Drag Showcases, record-breaking speedruns, sports talk, people dressed up as chickens, actual chickens, and so much more,” reads the post.
The combined results of all those streams were tremendous: Twitch counted 48 billion chat messages across 223,000 categories in 2022. Two specific emotes, HeyGuys and LUL, were used more than one million times in this year’s chats. And even in a year filled with big-name departures and controversial policy decisions, Twitch still managed to attract 11 million new streamers.
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Let’s have a talk
A 2022 recap posted by StreamElements and based on data from Rainmaker.gg named Just Chatting as Twitch’s most-watched category. The talky streams generated 2.1 billion hours of watch time between January and November of 2022.
Just Chatting has topped StreamElements’ year-end ranking in 2020, 2021, and 2022, and in each of those years, the category was led by Felix Lengyel (pictured above). The Quebecois star, known online as xQc, has now generated more watch time than any other Twitch streamer for three successive years. To complete his three-peat, he picked up more than 200 million hours of watch time over 11 months.
The rise of Just Chatting personalities has reshaped Twitch, but the platform hasn’t abandoned its video game roots. Titles like Grand Theft Auto V and League of Legends are still popular choices for streamers, and several new games made big impressions as well. Game of the Year winner Elden Ring had a big year, but Lost Ark earned the most Twitch traffic among new releases. Streams of the free-to-play MMORPG delivered 72 million hours of watch time during its first week of activity.
If recent trends continue, xQc won’t be the most-watched streamer of 2023. Gaules, a Brazilian creator known for his esports commentary, was the top streamer in StreamElements’ ranking in October and November of 2022.