In the dictionary, lurking means hiding from people with evil intent. The concept is very much similar on Twitch, however, without the evil intent part.
So, In this article I have covered what exactly does lurking mean on Twicth, how to create a lurk command and how can you engage lurkers on your Twitch streams.
Let’s dive inside:
What does Lurking mean on Twitch?
In simple words, lurkers are the viewers on streams who remain silent and do not interact with streams at all. They are silent viewers, hiding among the crowd, never interacting, never commenting but always are visible on the viewers’ list.
Lurking is a common phenomenon on Twitch. I mean obviously, you cannot expect everyone who’s watching your stream to comment and interact with it. There will always be tons of users who will never say anything but remain silent observers.
So, lurkers are passive viewers who like to enjoy your streams from the shadows and never give any interaction or comments. It’s nothing bad, and it does not impact your stream in any bad way. However, you can keep trying to engage lurkers to become chatters.
Why do People Lurk on Twitch?
There can be a number of reasons why someone would choose to lurk on Twitch. One might be busy and want to keep viewing your stream just to not miss on interesting content.
Lurkers can be divided into two types: occasional lurkers, and permanent lurkers. Occasional lurkers choose to interact with some of your streams while remaining silent on the others.
Permanent lurkers are always silent and never interact with any of your streams. They, maybe, are introverted people who do not want to get in front of an audience or like to be mentioned in your stream, so they avoid contact.
Viewers who are too busy with their daily routine, but want to show you support are also lurkers. These viewers might or might not interact with your stream, but are attentive to it from time to time.
How to Lurk on Twitch?
Lurking is easy. Simply join any stream you want to show support for and then do not interact with the stream, audience, or the streamer in any way. In this way, you can show your support to your streamer as a viewer.
You can join up to 2 streams at one time and continue appearing as a lurker on both. However, if you join more than two streams, your name will disappear from the view count and will only appear as a viewer on the currently opened tab.
Hence, you must make sure that you are only watching two streams at a time. However, if you are not concerned with showing support to a particular streamer, you can open as many tabs as you want.
Is lurking bad on Twitch?
No, there is nothing wrong with lurking on streams. It’s a common practice and most of the users on any stream are just lurking. There are many viewers who have been following streamers for years but have never interacted with them. They can be called loyal lurkers.
Lurking does not have any negative influence on the streams. The lurkers will show as viewers, and hence will support the visibility and engagement of the stream. In this way, lurkers are positively influencing the streams.
Also, streamers love loyal lurkers and often try to engage with as much audience as they can. Good streamers never point out any lurkers and respect their decision to not interact and silently observe the stream.
What is the !lurk command and what does it do?
The !lurk command is a customizable command that streamers specifically create for the lurkers to show them their support. These commands were created so that lurkers can feel part of the stream without having to interact with the stream.
Lurkers can use the !lurk command to announce themselves as lurkers. Streamers can create a wide range of customizable messages which will appear once lurkers use the command in live comments.
Hence, lurkers will be able to let the streamers know that they are available for support but due to some reason, they will not be interacting much with the stream.
How is the !lurk command created for Twitch?
The !lurk command is created using a chatbot. There are various chatbots that you can use for your channel. The most prominent of them are StreamLabs, StreamElements, and NightBot.
To add the lurking command, you will have to type:
!addcommand !lurk *insert text*
The “insert text” section refers to the message created by the streamer. This message can be any text, movie quote, or book quote. Streamers tend to be creative and use unique lurk texts which would entertain eh audience in the best way possible.
For example, streamers can use texts like:
“is lurking in the shadows”
“is hiding in the tall grass”
“is hiding in his blanket because it’s too cold and he cannot chat”
“is one of our favorite lurkers”
Once the viewer types the !lurk command on the stream, the message will automatically appear, appeasing both the streamer and the audience. Also, the lurkers will feel more like part of the stream.
Who can see lurkers in a stream?
On Twitch, lurkers are visible to both the streamers and the viewers on the stream. Anyone can check the current viewers on the stream if they have joined the stream.
Although lurkers would not be participating in the chatter, they will still be available in the chats. So, when the streamer or viewers open the list of users in chat, they will be able to see all the lurkers there.
Streamers can open the list to view the lurkers using the following steps:
- Open Stream Manager while streaming.
- Click on the 3 dots at the top right corner of the chat box.
- Click on the Users in Chat option.
- A list of all the available people in chat will appear.
Other viewers, who are not actually hosting, can also check out who has joined the platform.
They will have to follow the same steps, but instead of Stream Manager, they simply have to go to the top of the chat and open the option “Users in chat”.
However, only those viewers will appear as lurkers in chat who have logged into their Twitch account. There are also users on Twitch who do not sign in and just join streams as a guest. They will not appear in the “Users in Chat” option.
Is it Good to Call Out Lurkers in a Stream?
Trying to get lurkers to engage is a good thing, but rudely pointing them out, calling out their names from the viewers’ list, or forcing them to talk might backfire on your stream.
It is not good etiquette to force a person to speak on Twitch. If a user wants to remain hidden and watch your stream silently, you should let them do so.
However, if a lurker announces themselves using the !lurk command in chatter, you can give them a brief mention in your stream.
Calling out the silent lurkers might have a negative impact on your viewership. Lurkers are often known to leave the chats once their name has been called out by the streamer.
How to Engage Lurkers in the streams?
There are two ways you can engage with lurkers in your stream without hurting their feelings. However, these are not sure-fire methods. They might or might not work with your lurkers.
You must always remember that lurkers are an important part of your support group. They are still contributing to your stream as a viewer. So, it will not be good if they leave and their staying has a positive influence on your stream.
Now, if you want to try to engage with them, there are two ways. The first one is a question and the second one is polling. You can ask a general question to your audience, probably a yes or no one, and that might be able to engage the lurkers.
You will have to be creative and make sure you are about to do something unique which will interest most of the audience.
Secondly, you can start a poll that will allow users to vote on something specific. Various Twitch veterans have claimed that this trick engages most of the lurkers since they do not have to say anything other than participating in the vote.
Are you still a lurker if you have muted the Twitch stream?
Well, the answer is different depending on the web browser you are using to join the stream. Firefox is the only browser that allows Twitch users to mute a stream and still appear as lurkers and viewers on it.
However, if you want to show your support to a streamer, you should leave a little volume on. Platforms like Google Chrome would remove you as a lurker if you mute the tab.
But, you can download a mute extension in Chrome to mute the tab externally. In this way, you will be able to avoid the noise while working and still be able to support your streamer.
Various users are obsessive about supporting their streamers and join every stream. However, they are busy with their daily tasks as well. So, they can join as lurkers and mute the tab.
This will allow them to show their support as lurkers and viewers on the stream while keeping up with their tasks. As lurkers count as viewers, these users will contribute to the growth of their streamer.
Frequently Asked Questions
To conclude, lurkers are silent observers on any stream who like to remain in the shadows. Lurkers can announce their presence by using the lurk command, but they do not want to be part of the chat. So, they just remain invisible viewers and show their support to the streamers.