Someone asked me how Twitch raiding vs hosting works so I thought I would share with the entire group for new streamers and the benefits to both. This is detailed information mixed with my opinions which I am sharing. I am only sharing my own thoughts for others so you can create your own networking strategy and opinions after doing these things yourself.
Hosting Someone on Twitch
This is where your channel hosts another channel, your viewers are on your channel and can watch the person you are hosting from your channel. This is ideal to setup so that people who may randomly check on your stream while you are offline can see someone you like or want to showcase. I do this and autohost members of the Twitch Teams I am in and randomly autohost to support other streamers. I also meet streamers this way and find new streamers who I found I was auto-hosting. You can override auto-host anytime with doing a manual host up to 3 per 1/2 hour. Hosting has benefits to you as well because not only do you show the streamer you are hosting that you are willing to display their stream on your channel with your viewers, but they often get notified and many will give some sort of recognition/appreciation. I typically will never autohost giant streamers, like streamers with thousands of views/subs, they are too big and established they don’t need the host and there is generally no ROI or you won’t even get noticed. I choose people to host who are smaller and likely to get noticeable benefit. Don’t expect something in return, only host people whose content you support or are okay with hosting.
Raiding Someone on Twitch
Raiding will always end with you hosting who you raided. But how raiding is different is that everyone in your chat/watching will be automatically redirected to the person you raid with /raid or from your dashboard. This means instead of them just seeing that person on your channel you are directly sending users to that persons channel and they are notified they are being raided. Because you are actually sending your viewers/chatters away from your own channel you should include them in the decision to raid, let them know you plan on raiding, who and why. Also I do fun things like give my viewers choices on who we want to raid based on game played and I always try to raid people who have raided me and hosted me as a thank you. Many streamers appreciate a raid and some will give shoutouts and follow backs as appreciation. It is a great way to expose your viewers to a new streamer, but also get noticed by their viewers and possible get some back connections. It leads to networking, collaborations and honestly raiding people who play the same game you just streamed has huge value in building partnerships. Example we just streamed the game PINE all week and had numerous people who also were playing PINE raid us specifically because we were playing that game.
Remember these are tools to showcase and support and network with your other streamers, don’t ever do hosts or raids and expect something back in return, you do it because you want to showcase some love and support for another streamers channel without any expectation of payback. Many will return the favor or at least give you a shout out, again the bigger channels get raided/hosted so much they disable notifications so they don’t even know who hosts/raids them anymore, so there is more value in raiding smaller streamers. Trust me, nothing makes someone’s day more than seeing somebody struggling with 1-5 viewers and you raid them with your 20+ viewers. Ask anyone who has been raided with a big number after struggling with almost no viewers and they will tell you how appreciative they are.
I consider hosting and raiding far more valuable than just lurk for lurk and follow for follow. The 2000 follow limit for Twitch means that F4F only works temporarily. The L4L doesn’t work much anymore not counting more than 4 active viewers watching.
If you appreciated this advice or found it helpful feel free to visit and say hi at twitch.tv/dragonbloggers anytime, you are always welcome to ask any questions at any time, I make a point of helping others even though I am not a big time streamer.