If you’re going to become a world-class streamer, you’ll need to make use of the best live streaming apps on the market. There are plenty to choose from, but only a few platforms are really worth it, and there are only three or four apps that really boast any true market value. If you’re trying to figure out which is the best app for live streaming, look no further than this guide. This is a comparison between the best apps on the market: YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, and of course, Twitch.

Let’s not muddy the waters by bringing up all the smaller, low-tier platforms that you could stream on. This is our opportunity to take a closer look at the best live streaming apps on the internet today – the ones that will enable you to grow as a creator and become one of the most popular streamers in the business… If you do everything right, of course.

There’s a little more involved in the journey than just picking the best app for live streaming, though. It’s a hard path for any creator, and picking the best platform is just the start.

best live streaming apps

How to Become a Popular Content Creator

If only it were that easy, right?

If you’re trying to figure out how to start streaming, you may be doing so because you want to become a top-tier creator. It’s the chief goal of almost every creator that sits in front of a camera for the first time, and it’s why many people get involved in the practice in the first place. It’s not as easy as just turning on a stream and talking to people – but that is a very big part of it. There’s a lot more to it than that, and to become one of the most subbed Twitch streamers, for example, you’ve got a lot of boxes to tick.

Here are some of the things you’ll need to do to become a top streamer:

  • Engage with every viewer that comes into your chat, particularly in the early days.
  • Make use of social media channels for free promotions and marketing.
  • Diversify your portfolio and upload content to YouTube and TikTok as well as streaming on Twitch.
  • Build a community and open a Discord server, encouraging people to connect with you offline.
  • Be consistent in your stream times and in the content you push out.
  • Try your best to be original – avoid copying other creators by all means possible.

Those are some of our top streaming tips – it’s up to you to put them to good use, though.

Top 4 Streaming Apps

Twitch Tops the Market

best live streaming apps twitch

Twitch is easily the best platform for new streamers, offering a best-in-class infrastructure and features that are designed to make the journey of an all-new streamer equal parts welcoming and enjoyable. There’s a reason it has dominated the small streamer space for years, and while YouTube is putting in the work to catch up, it still cannot compete with the sheer numbers that Twitch puts out.

It’s a massively diverse platform, and it doesn’t matter if you’re streaming a cooking show, arts and crafts, or a traditional video game, there’s a market there for you. Twitch also boasts the advantage of having a bigger audience of viewers hungry to watch the best streamers in the world do their thing. While Twitch has suffered in recent months under the weight of some controversies, it has managed to constantly come out on top.

Here are some of the biggest advantages of using Twitch:

  • As the home of competitive gaming, most esports tournaments are held on Twitch.
  • There are regular Twitch Drops campaigns that can help you grow as a streamer.
  • With a Twitch Prime account, both viewers and streamers gain extra benefits.
  • As an Affiliate – an easy enough status to unlock – small streamers can start earning money.
  • There’s a massive audience to draw from on Twitch, even if you’re a niche creator.

But there are disadvantages:

  • If you cannot secure Affiliate, then you cannot earn money on Twitch and you’ll miss out on some benefits.
  • As there are so many competing streamers on the platform, it can be very difficult to get noticed when you start streaming.
  • The platform suffers regularly with ‘hate raids’ and bot activity that never seems to be truly eliminated.

Is YouTube for You?

best live streaming apps youtube

In recent years, YouTube has seen a massive surge in the number of top-tier streamers operating on the platform. From the likes of Dr Disrespect to TimTheTatman, some of the biggest creators in the business have left behind Twitch (or become a banned Twitch streamer) in favour of YouTube, an up-and-coming streaming platform.

Of course, YouTube has existed for almost two decades, but the streaming side of things is relatively young and still growing. There’s plenty of development ongoing on the platform, and it can be an enriching, satisfying environment for new streamers, but it’s arguably not as easy to grow on as Twitch can be. With that being said, there are still plenty of advantages to learning how to stream on YouTube, many of which are obtainable from the moment you get started.

Here are some of the biggest advantages of using YouTube for your streams:

  • Best VOD platform in the world – you can upload YouTube videos or archive your streams as entire, easy-to-access videos for viewers to watch at a later date.
  • Best-in-class analytics to let you know as much information as possible about your content.
  • Like Twitch, you can monetise your content (both videos and streams).
  • Higher quality streaming options if you can stream at a high enough bitrate.

But there are disadvantages:

  • Like Twitch, there’s a dense concentration of streamers, which can make it tough to be noticed early on in your streaming journey.
  • Before you can qualify for monetisation, on either video or stream-based content, you’ll need to complete some fairly hefty tasks, such as landing 1000 subscribers.

How Do You Find Facebook?

best live streaming apps facebook

Facebook is a somewhat dwindling platform but it still does well as a starting site for streaming gameplay to a small audience. It’s by far the least professional platform, and there are almost no big names that stream on the site. To be honest, unless you already have something of a following on the site, you’ll find it hard to grow or even find an audience right off the bat, but that doesn’t mean it’s an impossible platform on which you can learn how to become a streamer.

If you’re going to stream any kind of gaming content, we really would recommend using Twitch or YouTube. There’s no sense in using Facebook for streaming intense, competitive videogames, and at the highest level, you’ll only ever have a few hundred viewers at any one time. With that being said, there are some features that make Facebook a good platform for those just starting on their streaming journey.

Here are the (admittedly few) advantages of streaming on Facebook:

  • Any existing followers will be notified when you go live, allowing them to easily find your content.
  • There are analytics that can be pulled up in real-time, giving you an idea of how your content is doing.
  • As a relatively versatile platform, Facebook offers tools that make moderation quite simple.

That’s honestly it – and here are the disadvantages:

  • Video length is quite limited, and streamers can only store or upload 90-minute reels.
  • Discoverability is very bad, and users almost certainly won’t find your old content.
  • There are very few options when it comes to the quality of your stream.

Time for TikTok

tiktok best live streaming apps

TikTok is the newest streaming platform on the market, having gained most of its popularity in 2020. It’s easily the most popular video-sharing platform online today, and it’s the best place to upload short-form content for your viewers. Not only that, but TikTok is trying to help users break into the streaming market, giving them an all-new broadcasting platform to work with that takes place from their phone or on a desktop device.

For a while, streaming any gameplay on TikTok was tough – at least, until the platform’s developers made drastic changes in an attempt to align with the likes of Twitch. Now, users can go live whenever they so desire, broadcasting their gameplay or videos to what might be a really large audience. Once upon a time, TikTok was used solely for the uploading of ten-second dancing videos – now, it’s a multimedia platform that hosts some relatively large streamers.

Here are some advantages to streaming on TikTok:

  • There’s great discoverability on the app and if you have an existing follower base, they’ll be invited to watch you when you go live.
  • There are monetisation options present from the get-go, and you don’t need to be a partner of any kind to take advantage of them.
  • With filters, effects, and stickers, TikTok streams are relatively customisable without needing any extra software.

But of course, there are disadvantages to streaming on TikTok:

  • It’s easy to get banned on TikTok when streaming live, even if you’ve done nothing wrong.
  • There are millions of people already using TikTok to stream so it can be hard to find an audience.
  • Like Facebook, TikTok has duration limitations on your content, maximising the streams to a 60-minute window.

So, Which Live Streaming App Will You Choose?

Let’s assume you’ve built your streaming setup and you’re ready to get stuck in. It’s a safe bet that you’ve taken the time to come up with some branding, and most likely, you know what kind of game you’re going to be playing. If you’ve done your homework, you’ll be in a good place for the road ahead, but there are plenty of steps to conquer before you can become a big streamer.

It all begins with choosing the best app for live streaming, of course. If we had to give you the best streaming tip possible, we’d say to get started with YouTube or Twitch.