Considerations for picking your Twitch Name
A great Twitch name is memorable, brief and punchy. The longer the name the more difficult it becomes to recall it later. When you begin brainstorming your list of ideas for a Twitch name you'll want to keep it under 12-15 characters. Anything beyond that and people will simply forget it.
Does my name have to be easy to say? Not necessarily. In fact, having something that is difficult to pronounce can actually be an advantage! Lululemon founder Chip Wilson specifically chose the company's name because it was very difficult for Japanese people to pronounce it. It turns out that the Japanese love names that are American and hard to say. In case you've been living under a rock, Japanese always pronounce their “L”s as “R”s by virtue of their accent. So something to consider when coming up with your Twitch ID.
A strong name should be relevant either to you as the streamer or to the style of your stream. While a meaningless word can certainly be effective, it might help your branding if you use something more consistent with the content you are trying to produce.
One thing I think is most important is that it is something to be proud of that you won't hate a year later. A lot of people when they start out they pick a name that is really quite low quality or self-demeaning. Like “Dumbguy57” or “LameGamer”…these are funny at first, but as you grow you may wish you had something more professional. They way I look at it is that if you are serious about streaming then you should spend the time to create a professional name that you can be proud of for years to come as you continue to grow your stream.
Coming up with ideas for your Twitch Name
If you are stuck on what your Twitch name should be then first start with a list of seed words. These words should be things that are interesting and meaningful to you. Perhaps your interests, traits, likes, habits, styles, or brands that you already identify with. Once you have that list you can try some variations or combinations.
Someone on Reddit recommended the keyboard mashing method. You blast the keyboard and then add some vowels to come up with something completely original. Not a bad idea. After all so many video games use a name generator that is quite random as well so this often works nicely to get something no one has ever thought of.
You can always add numbers if you really want a certain word. Although I don't recommend it, it can work just fine. I'd say a great example is Castro1021 who has risen to the top of the charts in the last year seems to be completely fine with having 40% of his name being numbers. It really depends on you and whether or not you can accept this or not. Obviously Castro really wanted “Castro” in his ID and nothing more. I can get in line with that and his success proves this theory to be wide open still.
Picking the name itself and confirming it's available on multiple platforms
I love the application Namechk for finding out if your name is taken on any other social media platform.
Simply drop in your name and it runs through and shows you red or green depending on whether it's available or not.
Do I have to worry about copyright or trademark for my Twitch Name?
Copyright isn't relevant for names, it's only relevant for content.
Copyrights protect content creators/organizations from having their work rebroadcasted, republished, or recreated in many different ways. It's what prevents you from broadcasting films on Twitch and what mutes VODs with copyrighted songs. Copyright doesn't cover names or titles. – Citizen_42 on Reddit
Trademark issues might only be arise if another streamer is using it already it…as trademark law is designed to prevent customer confusion. In fact, you are allowed to use a name already taken as long as it is in a different category of industry. So if you want to use the popular name “Mrs. Fields” (which is a famous cookie brand) you are free to do so as long as you aren't making cookies. It would be fine to name your stream that. However, if the Mrs. Fields corporation has already registered the trademark in the gaming industry (unlikely) then it would be a different story and they would have to show that they are actively using the name in the gaming field.
This is all just basic legal information. It isn't hardcore legal advice nor should it be. And besides, you should really come up with a completely new name. When people say your name they should think of you not some cookie brand. You want to be first and you want the wording in your name to be memorable.