What Does Lurk Mean on Twitch?

What Does Lurk Mean On Twitch

Twitch is popular with online gamers but supports other communities like artists, entertainers, and lifestyle creators.

Twitch has three user levels: streamer, affiliate, and partner.

A streamer is a regular Twitch user who streams live videos for their viewers. An affiliate is a streamer who’s met the prerequisites to monetize their channels. A partner is an affiliate with additional benefits like prioritized support.

Besides learning the basic user levels, it’s essential for a beginner to learn various Twitch terms like “Lurking.”

So what does “Lurking” mean on Twitch?

Quick Answer

Lurking on Twitch is when a viewer watches a stream but does not actively participate. This means they are not chatting, on mute, or watching other streams. Some assume lurkers are bots deployed to rake up viewer numbers, but it’s not always the case. Remember, some shy users prefer watching the stream without engaging others and want to support their favorite creator while still doing other activities.

Read on to learn what lurking means on Twitch and why some users prefer to lurk instead of participating in the chat section.

Overview of Lurking on Twitch

As noted earlier, lurking is streaming a Twitch video without participating in the chats.

Notably, most viewers are considered lurkers, as only a small percentage participate in every video they stream. Additionally, even active users don’t participate 100% of the time, even when they enjoy the creator’s content.

Lurking on Twitch has previously been misrepresented as a tactic creators use to increase viewer numbers, but it’s not always true.

Previously, some users have deployed bots to inflate viewer numbers. When a streamer uses a third-party streaming tool, it can stream the video but can’t actively participate in chats, thus counting as a lurker.

While there have been previous cases of viewer inflation via third-party tools, Twitch currently enforces strict action against anyone caught using third-party tools.

This means most current lurkers are actual users who want to tune in and listen without engaging in the chats.

Some reasons why viewers lurk on Twitch include:

  • Some viewers enjoy a specific creator’s content and comfortably stream without participating in chats.
  • Some users have been bullied before or are shy and prefer to avoid any discussion or confrontation that may happen when they engage other participants or the streamer in the chat.
  • Some users like supporting their favorite streamer with views but have other activities to perform. Such users will tune in and let the stream run while they do other things.
  • Lurkers can also be viewers who want to watch many streams concurrently without having to participate in all of them.

Next, we’ll cover additional information about lurking on Twitch.

More About Lurking on Twitch

Some Twitch users and creators wonder whether lurking is illegal.

Lurking on Twitch isn’t unlawful. However, using third-party tools like bots to appear as lurkers is illegal and against Twitch’s user policy. Use of these viewer-inflating tools may lead to account dismissal.

Creators who notice high viewer numbers but less participation in the chats may feel discouraged by the lack of engagement.

It’s crucial to note lurking counts as views.

Supposing you are trying to create a vibrant and active Twitch community, but your streams have high viewer numbers, with most being lurkers. In that case, try using a few viewer engagement tricks.

One such trick is to be active in the chats. Viewers will be more engaged if they feel the streamer participates in the conversation and is interested in their feedback.

Another trick is to run contests. Contests with a theme and goal, such as completing a specific milestone or introducing a new game, can be intriguing and exciting enough to make lurkers participate.


Lurking on Twitch is when a viewer streams a video without being on mute or participating in the chats.

Viewers lurk because they are shy, want to stream as they do other activities, or are worried about cyberbullying.


Is lurking on Twitch illegal?

Lurking on Twitch isn’t illegal. However, using third-party tools like bots to lurk and increase viewers is illegal and against Twitch’s user policy.

Does lurking count as a view?

Yes, lurking counts as views.

Can a streamer see a lurker?

Yes, a streamer can see the names of lurkers by checking their chat list.

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