Acquired by Amazon for $970m in 2014, the streaming platform, Twitch, which is most associated with people broadcasting them playing videogames, was one of the internet giant’s largest acquisitions.

The platform accounts for 2% of US internet traffic, which is more than Amazon or Facebook.

Many people have already established work-based WhatsApp groups, so is it such a push to assume that those entering the workplace will do the same setting up Discord based communities? Given the popularity of Twitch and its gaming messaging partner Discord, it’s time for technology companies to see what these applications do well and look to adopt this functionality.

From a security perspective it’s worth noting that experts are already highlighting their popularity, with Rohde & Schwartz building network tracking and isolation systems for corporate customers which are already noticing that their corporate infrastructure is carrying Discord traffic.

Is this just hyperbole or corporate surveillance?

In 2017, a cyber attack on Discord was used to gain login credentials for online game ROBLOX which enabled hackers to steal large amounts of money from players. So it stands to reason that corporations should be concerned or at least be aware of the risks of their staff using this popular messaging platform and its potential threat.

50% of millennials are on Twitch, and by 2020 this generation will represent almost half of the workforce. Understanding how gaming platforms attract and retain users seems a missed opportunity for collaboration software providers. Indeed, leveraging game mechanics or “gamification”, is commonplace in business technologies such as Enterprise Social Networking. Driving interaction and analysing behaviour data into meaningful insights is extremely valuable both to businesses and collaboration application vendors.

Can features be applied to the corporate world?

Mimicking some of Twitch or Discord’s familiar features would likely encourage usage and preference in the corporate world.

For example, although web conferencing providers such as Webex and others already support chat, Twitch puts this front and centre to build a stronger relationship between caster and audience. Rather than taking questions at the end of online presentations and meetings, perhaps conference organisers should moderate and engage more with questions via ‘chat’ instead?

Regardless of whether it appropriate for conferencing solutions to be more Twitch-like, or for collaboration software to become more akin to Discord, what is inescapable is that is a growing amount of gamers make up the workforce and are quickly becoming decision makers.

Whilst some may dismiss video games and its culture as a frivolity, with no place in the workplace, large swathes of employees will not share the same opinion.

Being part of a larger group of fellow gamers and the social interactions they offer are key reasons gamers play games. They seek the comradery of like minded individuals and the sense of belonging.

Those businesses that can successfully harness the needs and behaviours of gamers are undoubtedly going to be more productive and successful.

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