This past weekend was the first PAX South. Arriving in San Antonio, one immediately notices that this is certainly Texas with people wearing big hats and strangers saying hello to you. The weather on the first morning, however, was colder than what I was expecting. After wandering around the expo hall I managed to grab a seat at the Twitch TV Town Hall. The Town Hall is an event for Twitch staff to reach out to the community to let us know what they are up to, and to take questions and suggestions on making Twitch better.
First they wanted to talk about some user experience improvements that they are working on and hope to get out soon.
If you stream on Twitch and manage to become popular enough to have the option of subscribers then this will help streamers recognize their most loyal fans. The option will send a notification that a user has subscribed for a certain amount of time. Such as “NerdSynq has subscribed for 3 months” Giving the broadcaster a great way to connect with their subscribers and see who has supported them and for how long.
Twitch is also known for its Emotes, like the infamous Kappa. And it is common practice to troll new users when they ask how someone has made a certain emote. Every channel can have its own set of subscriber emotes, and there is a global stock set. This can become very confusing to users who want to enjoy the interaction and socialize with other viewers. Twitch has decided to help with that by creating tooltips on emotes that show their keyword, and source channel if it’s not a stock emote. So no more “Grey Face (no space)” baiting of new users. (Who are we kidding, it’ll keep happening anyway. Kappa)
During the panel, Twitch Director of Community & Education Marcus “djWHEAT” Graham mentions how they do weekly spotlights for broadcasters to help them promote themselves and get more users. Apparently not a lot of people take advantage of this opportunity on the website. Now they want to take that a step further by creating a show showcasing new broadcasters giving them a more dedicated amount of time to show off themselves. They also want to work with partnered broadcasters with a spotlight on their weekly show also giving them a front page channel bump for a week and a blog write up. They really want to hype up their broadcasters and help them increase their viewers.
Twitch is looking into creating video playlists that can be filled with personal or other user’s content when channels are not live. They explained that this would be great to relive a tournament play through of your favorite players or teams, and give a great outlet for speed
runs/playthrough guides of certain games. The chat experience during rebroadcasts will be live, so you can still converse with others viewing the playlist.
The Twitch team is looking to implement a more modular dashboard for users. This will allow everyone to customize their experience, giving access to tools, settings and more detailed statistics. They reiterated that they want to be very transparent about stats/analytics, so now users will have easier access to data such as pageviews, revenue from subscriptions, site traffic, etc.
LAG LAG LAG
The team is aware of the lag and delay on the live streams and are continuously working on improvements. One of these is ditching the flash viewer. This sounds promising, however with current browser technology, this switch is a long term project that will likely take over a year. For now, know that the average latency is about 18 seconds. Twitch has some other improvements to help lower that along the way, notably adding more datacenters (locations TBA).
Here are a few questions asked by the attendees of the Twitch Town Hall:
What is your opinion on the state of user security (re: Swattting)
Twitch says that they do everything on their end to keep user information private and safe. However the user must also take that extra step to keep their information safe as well. Also be careful when downloading 3rd party software for streaming; there are some out there known to be unsafe. They found 2 viewerbot programs that contained Trojans.
Is there a way to follow a Team instead of an individual broadcast?
The Twitch team thinks this is a great idea and they will definitely think about it.
Will there be any options for affiliate links (to the Amazon product page for the game being streamed) on broadcaster pages now that you are owned by Amazon? (As a way to increase revenue for Twitch and broadcasters)?
The Twitch team is interested in the idea, and say there will be more updates with the transition since they were acquired last year. They are constantly looking for new revenue streams.
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