Former Perth make-up artist Natalie Acquisto has become WA’s latest social media mogul, with the pandemic fuelling her rise to become a global superstar of the gaming world and generating an annual income of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Over the past 18 months, since Acquisto traded her mascara wands for livestreaming herself playing games such as Fortnite and Call of Duty, the 27-year-old has amassed a following of more than 500,000 users on the Facebook Gaming platform under the handle NatChats.
Given a lot of the world has been in COVID lockdown, with little to do but play computer games, livestreaming stars such as Acquisto have been in demand, not least because they foster a sense of connection and community.
The users pay to subscribe to her channel, and can donate additional money if they’re enjoying her actions and commentary within the game.
“A lot of people think it’s bizarre, like why would anyone want to watch anyone gaming, but it’s actually very popular,” Acquisto told The West Live.
“If you want to think about it kind of like a TV show … you start to watch the streamer you enjoy and you start to become obsessed, like a new TV show and every day there’s a new episode and you can’t wait to tune in.”
Gaming software provider Streamlabs estimates users watched three billion hours of livestreamed gaming content every month in the second quarter of this year, up 16 per cent on the same period last year.
On Facebook Gaming, viewership has increased 42.7 per cent, year on year, which has helped Acquisto record a six-fold increase in her earnings this year.
Acquisto admitted she’s a great role model for any kid who has been told off by their parents for spending too much time playing computer games, but she warned achieving her level of success wasn’t as easy as turning on a webcam or even being good at Fortnite.
NatChats reveals her secrets for making a living off gaming at The West Live link above.