If you’ve been streaming on Twitch or watching streams you may heard some people talking about lurking or stating in chat they’re just here to lurk today. You may have asked your self what on earth does that mean? Let’s explain!

What Does Lurking Mean On Twitch?

Lurking on Twitch means that you join a stream and just watch. You don’t interact with the streamer or the chat. A lurker is just there to enjoy the content and nothing more. Twitch defined lurking as “viewers who are watching, but may not be chatting, have the stream or browser tab muted, or may be watching a handful of streams at one time.”

Initially you may feel that this is a bit rude but not everyone is there to interact with you. Some people to just lie back and enjoy your streams without having to chat to people. While community and interaction on Twitch is huge it’s not for everyone and that’s fine.

For example right now as I’m writing this article I have Tim The Tatman playing in the background. I’m not in chat, and i’m not answering any of Tims questions for chat but i’m there in the background enjoying the stream as I work.

What Does The !lurk Command Mean On Twitch?

Some people may join your stream and post !lurk in chat. This means that they are letting you know they are here and watching but won’t be interacting.

You can add a command to your stream so that lurkers can let you know they’re going to be around but won’t be engaging with the chat.

You can add the lurk command using your bot of choice.

1. How To Add A Lurk Command Using Nightbot

To add the command using Nightbot type in your chat:

!commands add !lurk Thanks for stopping by,  $(touser)

Feel free to switch out the message to whatever you feel appropriate for your stream.

2. How To Add A Lurk Command Using StreamElements

To add the command using Stream Elements type in your chat:

!command add !lurk [Add Your Message]

3. How To Add A Lurk Command Using Streamlabs

To add the command using Streamlabs type in your chat:

!command !lurk [Add Your Message]

Should You Call Out Lurkers On Stream?

It’s Twitch etiquette not to call out lurkers if you seem them in stream. If you’re a new streamer you may be tempted to call someone out or say hello to someone when you see them join your stream, after all you might only have a few people in chat.

However it’s an unwritten Twitch rule or pact between viewers and streamers to not call them out. This could make the lurker feel obligated to reply to you when really they just wanted to stop by and watch the stream.

Some people are naturally shy and maybe want to get a feel for the content and community before engaging. By calling them out you may actually drive a viewer away.

The bottom line is that you’re there to entertain the viewer, they’re not there to entertain you. If someone feels that your content and community are great they will eventually start engaging with you and your community.

How Can I Turn Lurkers Into Chatters On Twitch?

As I mentioned above most lurkers just don’t want to chat at that specific time. They’re likely passively watching the stream and don’t have time to sit and chat. However if your content is good and they keep coming back the may eventually pop in and chat when they get a chance.

I do not recommend provoking or calling out specific lurkers in your stream but it’s a good idea to thank them at the end of the stream for turning out and that your appreciate them as much as the people who chat. You may also want to do this a couple of time in the middle of your stream. This will open the door for lurkers to pop up and chat without personally calling them out.

Ultimately, you should focus on creating great quality content and people will chat and follow the stream.

How Can I Lurk On Twitch

Lurking on Twitch is easy, you just show up and watch the content, that’s it. Streamers love lurkers as it increases their viewers helping them reach a bigger audience but it you mute the stream you won’t be counted as a viewer. If you want to help your favourite streamer out by lurking but having the stream muted you can use a tab muter. You can also lurk in multiple streams using this strategy.

  1. Install the Tab Muter extension in google chrome
  2. The extension will now be installed in your browser
  3. You can use the extension to mute tabs where you have streams open

When you use this strategy the streamer will get full credit for the view helping them out.

Why Do People Lurk On Twitch?

  • They are playing your stream in the background and want to watch while they’re doing something else
  • They are shy and don’t want to be socially interactive in chat
  • They want to help out the streamer by giving them an extra view even if they can’t watch
  • They don’t want to donate or subscribe so don’t make themselves known in the chat

Lurking is a great way to support streamers and people shouldn’t feel like they have to donate, sub or even chat to help out the streamer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Twitch Streamers See Lurkers?

If you’re logged into Twitch then the streamer will be able to see you in their stream. The streamer has a viewer list in their streamer dashboard where they can view all logged in viewers.

Do Lurkers Count As Viewers On Twitch?

Yes, lurkers count as viewers on your channel. In fact most viewers on twitch are actually lurkers. It’s common for most of a streamers viewers to be made up of lurkers. Not everyone wants to post in chat, they’re just here to enjoy the content. However if you mute the stream you will no longer be counted as a viewer.

Wrapping Up

Ultimately lurkers are good for your stream and make up the majority of viewers on Twitch. They help streamers out with getting more views and boosting them up the rankings. As long as you’re creating great quality content eventually lurkers will come out of the woodwork and join your chat.

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James is a marketer by day and gamer by night. He loves sharing his Marketing background in the world of streaming. When he's not working on campaigns he's likely to be spotted in Verdansk.

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