The future of live streaming on Twitch is interactive — official launch of extensions

At PAX West 2017 Twitch announced new creator tools including the release of Twitch Extensions. Ex Machina has been partnering with Twitch over the last few months to explore the new opportunities that Twitch Extensions offer for eSports competitions and Twitch streamers.

Twitch Extensions allow developers to create interactive tools for live streams. Viewers can interact directly with the video player or page widgets to find out more about the game, get real-time information, answer polls and trivia, or to interact and play games with streamers.

Ex Machina is part of a small group of launch partners that received early access to the extension technology. In the past few month we have build various new tools for game streamers and eSports competitions on Twitch.

We’ve partnered with some great Twitch contributors in an effort to make it easier than ever for you to interact directly with your favorite streamers. — Twitch

In the coming months we will be developing new features using the new Twitch developer tools to enhance the Twitch experience.

Our first public extension is Smart Click Maps that allow viewers to click directly on the video player to provide (un)structured feedback to streamers. The extension is a result of our experience with making TV shows interactive and our background in games and sports.

The Smart Click Map extension supports 3 modes:

  1. Smart Click Maps
  2. Smart Polls
  3. Tug of War

Smart Click Maps

Smart Click Maps collects clicks from viewers on the player and automatically identified hotspots. Our custom algorithm finds all clicks that are associated and shows percentage to each of those hotspots. It’s a very flexible solution to for real-time polling without the necessity of having to prepare content such as poll questions and answers by the streamer. It allows streamers to use the content in the game to ask viewers for feedback. Viewers can provide their feedback by simply clicking on the video player.

Twitch streamer TrumpSC using Smart Click Maps during The Elder Scrolls: Legends.

Streamers can easily operate the Smart Click Maps from their Twitch Dashboard and see the results come in in real-time.

Smart Click Maps Dashboard interface

The interface is designed to be operated by a small team or even a single streamer. From the dashboard the streamer can select the preferred mode and directly see the number of clicks, the total number of users and the number of hot spots including the percentage. The results can be used directly by the streamer to make a decision or asking the viewer for advice.

Our algorithm automatically recognizes hotspots which allows Smart Click Maps to be used by any streamer and for almost any type of game. The hot spots are dynamically generated and are displayed as a fiery ring on top of the stream adjusting to the shape of the area.

Smart Click Maps to select the landing spot in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds on Twitch.

Smart Polls

Polls are part of the smart click maps extension and allow for more structured polling mechanics.

Streamers can easily create short questions with 2 to 4 answers that are displayed on top of the stream. So instead of allowing viewers to click anywhere this provides more structure in the possible answers. Viewers can respond to the poll by simply clicking on the answer circle displayed in the video which shows the results in real-time.

Polls are a great way to involve viewers during a live broadcast by asking them what to do next or get the viewers opinion. Viewers can click directly on the video player to cast their vote making the experience seamless and intuitive.

TrumpSC using Smart Polls to ask the viewers which Hearthstone Deck to play next.

Tug of War

The tug of war option is a specialised form of poll maps that offers two poll options with optional poll texts. The two circles are on either side of the stream and viewers are invited to click on their preferred option for a period of time. During this period the tug of war visualizes a stream between the two circles with each side having a distinct color. There is an indicator on the rope that moves between the two circles depending on the popularity of the circle motivating viewers to click on their preferred option.

Tug of War Mockup

The Tug of War mode is still in development but will allows streamers to have a real-time competition between two options. This offers a great way to capture the sentiment over time and to let the viewers decide. Tug of war can be used continuously allowing the results to change over time.

Send us an email if you want to know more about the Smart Click Maps extension.

Make your live stream interactive

Twitch Extensions brings a whole new set of opportunities for Twitch live streams. If you are a Twitch streamer, eSports organizer, producer, or advertiser that wants to benefit from these new tools we want to talk to you! We bring years experience in interactivity for TV shows, sports, live streaming and eSports and are looking forward to work together to build the next generation of interactive tools on Twitch.

Reach out to me directly or send an email to info@exmachinagroup.tv to get the conversation going!

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