May 30, 2019 - By Megan Dobransky

Nine must-have Twitch Extension features

If you’re building an Extension, these features can encourage streamers to adopt your Extension

Twitch Extensions capture the power of the streamer and viewer relationship with a wide range of interactions never before possible on Twitch. In the two years since launch, we’ve seen a set of best-in-class features emerge for driving more interactions and installations.

First, you need to build a great Extension. Make your design one that drives interaction and engagement between streamers and viewers and solves real challenges the Twitch community faces every day.

Next, add features that support streamers in viewers in their quest to interact in meaningful ways on Twitch. Here are nine you need to know about:

1. Using GIFs for Discovery Manager

Streamers want to know how an Extension works and what it will look like on their channel, because they care a lot about what their community experiences. Since you can’t upload videos to the Discovery Manager, one of the best ways to educate streamers who are interested in installing your Extension is to include a GIF that shows how the Extension will work for viewers.

GIFs are also a helpful way to communicate the live dashboard and configuration experiences for the streamer.

2. Configuration Page Installation Guides

Knowing exactly how to install and set up the Extension, any browser sources required for broadcasting software, and any associated applications to maximize the value of the experience is crucial for getting a streamer to activate your Extension.

Developers such as Altoar with Sound Alerts and Hype Network with Say It Live have added configuration page setup guides and “Help” tabs, so that streamers fully understand how to set up things correctly at the moment of installation.

3. Feedback Button

User feedback is extremely important for gathering information from viewers and streamers to make your Extension better, so make it very easy for your users to contact you.

We suggest adding a “feedback” button or link within the Extension or in a help tab in the streamer configuration page.

4. OBS Browser Source Integration

The reason you would use a browser source in OBS instead of displaying visuals in the Extension itself is that content in a browser source becomes a shared experience and becomes part of the video recording.

Displaying in the Extension allows for custom visualizations for each viewer, but since an Extension runs on top of the player, this content does not become part of the video for later viewing.

Developers can also create custom animations that can be shown on stream whenever an action is completed, which helps viewers engage more and garner the attention of the streamer.

5. Chat Integration

Chat integration is important because broadcasters want to recognize viewer participation — getting a callout from a streamer is a big reason why viewers subscribe or cheer with Bits on stream.

Whenever a special action is completed, the Extension can post to Chat to both acknowledge the user and draw more attention to the Extension.

6. Mobile Versions

Considering much of the current Twitch viewership base is mobile, having mobile versions of Extensions is a crucial part of extending their reach to as many users as possible.

Enabling an Extension for mobile devices is easy; simply add another HTML view to those you already created for the Extension.

For iOS, Extensions developers will have to register for the Apple Developer Program.

7. Color and Theme Customization

Every streamer on Twitch has a different personality, stream format, color scheme, and community. A streamer’s brand is very important to them and because variability is so wide, building in customization tools for an Extension gives your Extension an advantage to scale to a wider audience.

8. Localization

Twitch is international. Streamers stream from all over the world, viewers watch from all over the world, and people use Extensions from all over the world. Viewers can set their language preference on Twitch, and you can detect this through the query parameters and localize your Extension accordingly.

Check out this TwitchCon Developer Day 2018 talk for more insight into localization and other advice for what makes a great Extension.

9. Pricing Customization for Bits-enabled Extensions

Pricing customization involves two levels of implementation: streamer-side pricing features and viewer-side pricing features.

The streamer-side features should include default pricing suggestions based on similar channel sizes as well as a way for the streamer to define what the pricing of each Bits-related action should be on their channel. Lastly, streamers should be able to set pricing minimums on Bits-related actions for their channel.

The viewer-side features should include a default suggestion for initial Bits usage, but can also include a user interface that allows viewers to choose their own amount. An example of this feature is the Pretzel Rocks Bits calculator, where viewers can collectively compete with each other to make sure their track plays next.

Honorable-mention features for Bits-enabled Extensions

Streamer-side Bits Insights

For Bits-enabled Extensions, you’re more likely to get greater adoption by helping streamers understand what will probably get the most Bits usage. However, it’s not totally necessary for your first Bits-enabled Extension version. A great example of insights for streamers is how Sound Alerts displays sounds by popularity in the configuration view, so they can make informed decisions about which sounds may receive more Bits usage within the Extension.

Chat Emote Integration

Extensions now have the Extensions Emotes API, which is now in beta for developers! If you want to integrate Partner, Channel, or Global Twitch Emotes into your Extension, fill out this form and the Emotes team can help you get started!

Have an idea you’d like to explore for an Extension? Start now!

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