“Algorithms play a big part in what I do.”
The most provocative streamer on Twitch reveals how the algorithm needs to change
Kaitlyn Siragusa has more than 4.9 million Twitch followers and is the platform’s second-highest-earning woman.
In the eyes of millions, Kaitlyn Siragusa is Twitch’s top trendsetter.
Known online as Amouranth, Siragusa has become one of the most controversial and popular streamers on Twitch since she joined the live streaming platform back in 2016. The 28-year-old Houston native has consistently pushed the boundaries of what the platform allows — like the hot-tub streams that launched an entire movement last spring and licking her microphone for ASMR.
Scores of scandalized trolls, trigger-happy algorithms, and boundary-busting content have put Siragusa at the center of an ongoing saga of bans and reinstatements across social media platforms. But it seems to have only heightened the public’s fascination with her. Siragusa has more than 4.9 million Twitch followers and was the most-watched woman on the platform in 2021 with more than 38 million hours watched.
That level of fame can be a lot to handle IRL. “People will come up and be crazy, ask me out, all kinds of stuff,” Siragusa tells Inverse.
Siragusa spoke to Inverse about her growth as a creator, her favorite games, and the future of streaming.
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.
How has your content evolved since you started streaming?
Initially, my content was more cosplay and costuming-focused. Now I've kind of fallen out of that into more of a general lifestyle and variety content pool. Also, when streaming stopped being a hobby and turned into a career, I started to take it — and the content I produce — a lot more seriously.
What was your favorite video game when you were younger?
Ooh, that's tricky. Probably Pokémon, or The Legend of Zelda.
Was there a specific moment when you realized streaming was more than just a hobby?
About six months into it, my viewer base started to trend up. I realized if I was going to make a go at it, it was then or never. I think that was late 2016 or early 2017.
What's the weirdest experience you’ve ever had while streaming?
Oh gosh, I've had a lot! People will come up and be crazy, ask me out, all kinds of stuff. I've also had people come up to me while I'm streaming trying to get me to “justify” myself to them.
The craziest experience was streaming at and attending Twitchcon and having someone register a name tag "Finding Amouranth" and then causing a security scare. I had a security shadow all weekend assigned to me as a precaution.
How do you deal with burnout?
When you stream as many hours a day as I do, it can take the fun out of basically anything. I just try to keep myself motivated and find things to work towards. That makes it a lot more rewarding.
“The rules around community guidelines will probably relax a bit over time.”
How do the algorithms shape your creative process?
I try to base my content on things I think my viewers want to see, so in that way, I think algorithms play a big part in what I do.
The current ‘meta’ on Twitch is always changing, like what games are trendy, what IRL adventures people like, etc. So I think in that way, most content creators are pretty driven by what algorithms say.
Who are the content creators you like to watch when you’re not streaming?
I really like a lot of animal rescue streams. I like this one that does otter streams. There’s also this owl rescue that has cameras in the nests — a bunch of stuff like that.
I also like watching my friends like Mizkiff, QTCinderalla, Ludwig, and Jinny, just off the top of my head.
What's the best game you've played in the last year?
I had a lot of fun with Pokémon Snap. Diablo II Resurrected was a lot of fun too.
How do you think streaming will change in the next five years?
I can't decide whether mega creators — streamers with more than 50,000 viewers — are a transient phenomenon. Or if everyone will just pool into watching super large creators like XQC to a greater and greater degree. In theory, with a better discovery system, the long tail should prevail as people find their niche and form small, super-tight-knit communities.
“I had a security shadow all weekend.”
I think the rules around community guidelines will probably relax a bit over time — and eventually, you'll have a wider array of activities that are allowed.
What advice would you give to new content creators?
Consistency is really important. You don't need to be streaming all day every day — though it definitely helps. But sticking to a schedule, so that your followers can know when to expect you, will definitely help you average more views.
Streamer Secrets is an Inverse interview series with the most fascinating streamers online.