Imane ‘Pokimane’ Anys is the most popular woman on Twitch. The gaming personality has amassed a huge following since she started streaming in 2013, with fans identifying with the Moroccan-Canadian's laid-back personality and enjoying her charming streams.
The steaming star is not just a big hit on Twitch – she built up her brand across several platforms, and recently hit a huge subscriber milestone on October 4 on YouTube and Instagram when she reached four million followers on each account, making her a multi-threat entertainer.
Here is the story of how she became the top female streamer.
Pokimane's Twitch origins
Imane Anys was born in Morocco in 1996, before emigrating to Canada, where she began her streaming career. The 23-year-old personality combined one of her favorite games, Pokémon, and her name, Imane, to create her iconic username.
During a 2019 stream, she hilariously explained that the reason she won’t ever use her legal name is that her last name Anys is one letter off from Anus. “When you connect my first and last name, Imane Anys, you could just write, like, ‘I’m an anus’." This is an example of the female streamer's sense of humor that's hugely appealing to her audience.
While most popular channels on Twitch in 2013 were primarily gaming-focused, Pokimane was one of the first to also heavily engage with her audience, long before the Just Chatting category was created in 2018.
However, it was the mix of her passionately playing the wildly popular MOBA League of Legends and her laid-back interactions with her audience that led to the rapid growth of her channel on the streaming platform.
Pokimane's channel continued to grow substantially while she attended McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. However, she decided to leave college and moved to Beverly Hills, California to pursue streaming full time.
The Canadian streamer's channel really picked up in 2018 when she became one of the most popular Fortnite players after being invited by Epic Games to a Pro-Am tournament at E3 2018 and landing a sponsorship.
In one of her popular videos, the Twitch star was playing Fortnite duos with random players when she got paired off with an 11-year-old boy. The wholesome interaction is a good example of her light-hearted personality that has struck a chord with so many people.
Her YouTube channel and ASMR
Pokimane created her YouTube account in 2013 and cleverly used it as a second platform to host highlight clips from her streams, which helped get her name out there.
While the streamer’s channel still mainly features clips from her broadcasts, they have proven to be incredibly popular on YouTube – she recently hit four million subscribers, and her most popular video has over 12 million views.
However, in 2017, the successful streamer created a second YouTube account called ‘Poki ASMR’ where she uploaded ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response) videos.
While it may sound strange, when some hear female voices whisper and talk quietly, they find the sounds pleasurable, and the movement has become an online phenomenon. Pokimane’s videos on the topic regularly hit over two million views.
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Pokimane's channel growth
In 2015, Poki's Twitch channel had grown to 247,000 followers, as her League of Legends streams proved to be incredibly popular. But her channel had its biggest boost in 2018 when she went from one million followers to 3.4 million followers by the next year.
According to Twitch tracking site SullyGnome, the Canadian streamer was pulling in 1,000 viewers in 2015, but by 2018 an average of 12,000 were watching each broadcast.
While she doesn’t rank among the topmost actively viewed streams, her broadcasts often produce clips that go viral, such as the popular clip from her July 21 stream, where the Canadian was painting alongside a video of famed painter Bob Ross, while being disgusted by the artist getting a little too excited about his work.
Most of Poki's clips often get 60,000+ views alone, with her most popular ones reaching over 500,000 views. The Twitch star has also built up a loyal fan base, and is in the top 50 most subscribed channels on Twitch, according to TwitchTracker (it should be pointed out that Twitch doesn’t make sub numbers public, so third-party tracking sites aren’t entirely accurate).
On September 1, Pokimane announced the launch of her official merchandise line on Instagram, which she designed herself.
In the launch video, she stated: "I was so used to seeing blank T-shirts with a streamer's name on it. I want to create merch that people would enjoy wearing, and is simple and easy to wear."
The Moroccan-Canadian streamer is having her biggest year yet, enjoying an explosion of growth across multiple platforms. According to SocialBlade, as of September 2019, she has the 15th most followed channel on Twitch, and, at the time of writing, she has 3.4 million followers on the streaming platform.
The streamer's bright personality and laid-back streams have made her accessible to millions of people, and when you combine this with her gaming skills, you have a force to be reckoned with even beyond Twitch.