In the not-too-distant past, the terms "online gaming" and "social media" represented two distinct platforms. While one was designed for gamers of specific demographic details, the other was designed majorly for entertainment and networking purposes. So, at the time, there was no evident correlation between the two concepts.

But with the advent of lots of online gaming tools like Discord and Steam – to mention but a few – can we still say that online gaming and social media are different entities?

No, not really!

Being an online gamer in this day and age goes beyond flooring your opponents in multiplayer duels or single combats. Gaming is now a viable way of networking and community building.

Don't believe me? Just check out Discord, and you'd be surprised at the various social media esque features you’d find on the app.

Nowadays, there is a perfect blend between social media and online gaming, thanks to players’ unending desires to market their gaming exploits and gaming companies’ desires to create a socially active world for gamers.

Relevance of social media to online gaming

For players:

Did you know that some gamers upload their exploits on social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and even TikTok? With social media becoming a universal tool, these players know that posting their gaming experiences on social media can do a lot of good for their gaming reputation now and in the future.

But that's not even all; thanks to social media, players can now learn about the existence of challenges, contests, and tournaments advertised on social media, many of which they couldn't have known about without the help of social media.

For gaming companies:

Gaming companies have also realized the buzz that social media is creating in the online gaming world. As a result, many of them are now leveraging social media to share information about new deals, game launch, deals, rewards, and fascinating facts, which not only keep their customers updated but also help attract new players.

Social media lookalikes in the online gaming world

Entertainment and streaming features

Just the same way social media users have platforms like Instagram to share their life stories, Twitter to keep up with trends and threads and YouTube to get informative knowledge. Online gamers, too, have platforms like Twitch and Discord, where they can stream interesting game moments, with high-quality videos and even share their most glamorous moments with a large number of audience.

Communication

Online gamers also have their own version of social media chat tools, which allow them to chat with random people when they're playing. Through this, many players get informative gaming tips, guide on game downloads, help from people they don't even know, and also take part in competitions.

VoIP features

Of course, we can all see how VoIP and social media are intermingling in recent times, with apps like Facebook, Whatsapp, and even TikTok now boasting several VoIP features that allow their users to send messages and make calls over the internet.

In the gaming world, too, apps like Discord, Twitch, and TeamSpeak allow players to enjoy several VoIP features, too, like voice calls and videos. Which means that gamers can now engage with one another in just the same way people could send voice notes on Whatsapp.

Competitiveness

Just the same way a random Instagram user would go all out to buy followers on the best site to buy Instagram followers, gamers who’re trying to build their profiles on gaming platforms like Twitch and Discord also spend their hard-earned money to buy followers.

Why? You may wonder!

Let’s just say that people are trying to maintain a competitive advantage in both scenarios. So, the same level of competition that exists in the social media world also exists in the online gaming world.

Communities

The online gaming world can never be rightly regarded as the new social media without an active community base. After all, the current social media boasts communities such as Facebook, Twitter, and even YouTube.

So, for online gaming to be regarded as a social media platform, it needs communities.

And guess what? There are lots of them!

Online gaming culture has begun to create its own communities, where people came together to discuss their favorite games, making a new medium of global communication possible.

There are many online media platforms gamers use, which are an ideal place to engage with their target gaming audience and learn about them, and one such platform is Reddit. 

Reddit's active online community is a go-to hub for gamers. 

Gamers use it for all kinds of things:

  • Sharing detailed information about new game updates
  • Researching how other gamers are navigating a difficult level 
  • Asking for feedback about a game and suggestions for game changes

Other popular gaming communities that look so much like a regular social media platform include:

  • Discord
  • Twitch
  • Steam

Online Gaming- A rapidly growing social interaction platform

In all honesty, online gaming might never attain the status of “a new social media’ for obvious reasons. However, it has already staked its claim as one of the biggest social interaction platforms in the world today.

The shift of online gaming towards becoming a  social network is a natural evolution that brings the best of both worlds.