This post comes via Know More, Wonkblog's social media site.
Depending on your age and hobbies, live gaming might be the biggest user of Internet traffic you've never heard of. The graphic below maps activity in December on Twitch, a social video platform where gamers chat, broadcast and watch videos about gaming.
The platform now has more than 100 million visitors per month and accounts for a huge amount of Web traffic. In the week ending Feb. 3, for example, Twitch accounted for 1.8 percent of peak U.S. Internet traffic – ranking fourth after Netflix, Google and Apple, and above Hulu, Facebook, and Amazon.
The Twitch team created the graphic above using an open source tool called Gephi. Each circle on the map represents a specific channel on Twitch, or someone who is playing and live streaming their game. The bigger the circle, the more people are watching the Twitch player. The lines between the circles represent the amount of overlap between the audiences of those two channels. The most popular games -- "League of Legends," "Defense of the Ancients 2," "Counter-Strike: Global Offensive," "World of Warcraft," and "Hearthstone" -- all have their own dense communities of channels.
The red portion of the map represents more mainstream channels that play a variety of games, including "FIFA," "Call of Duty" and "Minecraft."
This data comes from December, when there weren't many big tournaments for "League of Legends." As a result, current and former pro players and some other entertaining players dominate the League cluster, Twitch says. "League of Legends" also has some interesting offshoots to the upper-right hand corner, which represent League broadcasts in East Asia and Latin America.
The most connected gaming communities are "Hearthstone," "World of Warcraft" and "Starcraft 2" – all Blizzard games that benefit from extensive cross-promotion.