My Thoughts on Twitch… So Far…
So I’ve spent around a month now playing around with various things on Twitch in between my (very rare) streams and Modding. Here’s a few things I’ve noticed about Twitch that I really like, and a few things I think could be potentially be added to make things easier for us as streamers (but are probably just kinda silly to be honest).
The Twitch Mod Dashboard is Amazing
If you mod for any channels on Twitch, you should 100% be using the Mod Dashboard. As a Mod for a few channels, the Mod Dashboard gives you quick, easy access to so many useful features you’d be mad not to use it!
Not only do you get to see chat (albeit kinda small depending on how you lay out your screen) you get to see how many other mods are available at any time, users in chat (although I’ve noticed you need to manually refresh this list for it to stay up to date) as well as actions people have taken on the channel, from follows, hosts and raids to channel currency purchases.
You also get quick access to AutoMod actions, so you can keep on top of anything that gets caught by Twitch’s AutoMod system, along with quick ways of updating banned words, blacklists and other useful bits you might want to be able to update on the fly.
Altogether, coming from modding on Mixer where, admittedly, we had a few useful tools at our disposal in terms of being able to click on a message in chat to perform a bunch of mod actions (I’ll admit I’ve tried to do it on Twitch more than once), having all these tools in one place is a dream come true for a channel mod.
Access the Mod Dashboard from the little sword icon just below the chat box on Twitch. Be prepared for a LOT of panels…
BTTV is a Must Have
Ok, so it’s not directly related to Twitch itself, but as far as extensions go for streaming platforms, BTTV is awesome.
Not only does BTTV allow you to modify a bunch of stuff about the Twitch UI (including adding a super useful Host button directly under the channel video… seriously, why is this not just a thing??), it also allows you to add custom emotes (including animated ones!!) to your own channel, which for non affiliate streamers is a great way to add a touch of personalisation to your channel and build up that all important HYPE!
BTTV is a Google Chrome extension (possibly available for IE/Edge too… can’t be sure) you can grab here.
Stream Schedules… Directly on your Channel!
For anyone who streams to a schedule, firstly… good job! Secondly… ADD IT TO YOUR CHANNEL!
Twitch has a Stream Schedule tab built right there into your Profile. It lets you add what you’ll be streaming and when. Best of all, it automatically displays in the timezone of the user viewing your page (Twitch… you Wizards!).
Whether you stream one day a week (like somebody we know… ok it’s me) or multiple days, or even multiple times per day (you lunatic!), it’s super simple to add all your planned streams right there on your profile for everyone to see!
You can add your Stream Schedule from your Channel Settings page on Twitch, you’ll have to scroll down a fair bit to find it though coz there’s a BUNCH of stuff you can customise in there…
Speaking of Customisation… How Many Badges??
If you’re an Affiliate or a Partner on Twitch, you’ll no doubt have seen a bunch of ways to customise your channel with emotes, sub badges and a bunch more stuff.
The sub badges get interesting though. As you may know, there are 3 Tiers of subscription available on Twitch and, depending on which Tier someone subscribes at, they can get a different sub badge (or Badge Flair as Twitch call it).
You can also change the look of the badge depending on how long someone has been subscribed. This is where things get interesting (or ridiculously complicated if you’re the designer for the channel).
Initially you can have up to 6 badge variations (Base, 2 Month, 3 Month, 6 Month, 9 Month and 1 Year), but you can also add Badge Flair to each of those as well, meaning you can have up to 18 variations of your sub badge… 6 badges per tier. I can’t decide if this is awesome or just MASSIVE overkill… at what point are you just making changes to your badge for the sake of it?
To me this feels like one of those “Just because you CAN do something, doesn’t mean you HAVE to” things… it’s more important to keep your badges “on-brand” than it is to have a separate version for everyone depending on how long they’ve subbed and at what Tier.
The Profile Home Page Could Use a Tweak
This is just a random thought I had about something that would be useful on the profile home page (at least in my mind).
Coming from Mixer, a bunch of my regulars didn’t use Discord or Twitter (I know, they’re like unicorns, right??) so pretty much relied on me posting updates in my channel chat to know if there was a delay to my stream or anything like that.
Obviously, Twitch chat only shows you messages from the time you connected to chat (another slight issue I have and something I keep forgetting about) so I can no longer leave little love notes for my regulars who want to know what’s going on.
My thought process here was based on recently having set up a Patreon account (yup, shameless self promotion) and seeing how they manage status updates. You could add updates to your channel and maybe even lock some updates to subscribers-only mode.
Again, this is just a random idea I had and have no idea if it would be in any way useful for anyone but, if it gets enough people’s attention I might detail it out a little more in a future post.
That’s it for now, I’ve got a bunch of other stuff I’m still learning about Twitch, I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface. What I can say is, since the last time I streamed on Twitch (around 4 years ago) things have improved on the platform dramatically. As I learn more I’ll add a few more of these posts into the blog.
Until next time, stay safe, have fun and wear a damn mask!!
As always, if you have any thoughts on anything in the post, feel free to drop a comment below. And if you’ve recently moved over to Twitch, let me know what features you’re enjoying most about the platform!