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How to use Twitch Extensions to retain viewers

Updated: Feb 13


Fighting to keep your view count up? Twitch Extensions can help.



*Ding Dong*


You’ve been streaming for a few hours when you hear the doorbell ring. You quickly check your phone and don’t see any new texts, your friend isn’t supposed to come over until later. You tell your chat that you’ll be right back and get up to check the door. Turns out the pizza guy’s got the wrong apartment number. You shrug, close the door and return to your streaming chair only to see that your viewer count is now 30% smaller.


Answering the door, taking a bathroom break, grabbing food, from the kitchen, waiting for your next match to start, are all common reasons why you might break the flow of your stream temporarily. The attention span of the modern online viewer is the size of a peanut and they tend to tab out or find another stream the second they get bored. As an online entertainer, their eyeballs are your most precious resource. Luckily, Twitch streamers can leverage the power of interactive Twitch Extensions which can use gamification and social engagement to help keep their attention.


Before we get into Twitch Extensions, let’s examine top reasons why viewers leave streams.


Top reasons why viewes are leaving your stream


Lifewire wrote a great article on some of the reasons why people stop watching your stream. Here’s a few of them, combined with some that I’ve learned over the last year.

  • You went AFK

  • You’re not talking

  • You are ignoring the chat

  • They got bored of your content (e.g. repetitive gaming)

  • They came for a certain type of content (e.g. Gameplay) that you’re currently not engaged in


Some of these can be fixed by changing your stream personality, for example you can make a conscious effort to talk more and also engage with your chat more. However, some of these points like temporarily going AFK are unavoidable, especially if you stream for longer durations.


Now I’ll dive into what Twitch Extensions are and how they can help.


Twitch Extensions

If you don’t know what Twitch Extensions are, here’s a quick summary from Twitch’s website:


Extensions are interactive overlays and panels, developed by 3rd parties, which put you at the heart of the next evolution in live streaming. With Extensions, the Twitch community can interact in ways that were never thought possible — from heat maps and real-time game data overlays to mini-games, music requests, and leaderboards, you now have the power to truly impact the streaming experience — whether you’re a streamer or viewer.

You can find the Twitch Extension marketplace at https://dashboard.twitch.tv/extensions.


The power of Twitch Extensions lies in their ability to let your viewers interact with the stream and each other in truly unique and engaging ways. Because they are applications, you also don’t need to be on screen for them to work. Extensions are flexible and customizable. Like phone apps, they come in all shapes and sizes. There are Extensions that are good for helping your community learn more about you, and others that are good for helping you monetize.


Now, we’ll take a deep dive into a Twitch Extension that will help with viewer retention and how to effectively use it.


Stream Minigames


Stream Minigames is a Twitch Extension that allows viewers to play a variety of multiplayer mini-games directly on your stream. The extension allows you or your mods to launch a mini-game that is played directly on your stream’s on an overlay.


There are also some configuration options like how long the mini-game should last, and how difficult they are.




There are several different type of games to launch, including cooperative games where viewers work together to achieve a common goal, and competitive games where viewers try to survive the longest or get the highest score. One of the competitive mini-games is called Flight Mania, which is sort of like a hybrid between Mario Kart and Flappy Bird.



Since these mini-games involve bringing all the viewers together towards various goals, they stay engaged, even if you are not present on stream. However, you should explain some basic instructions to your chat before your launch the mini-game and encourage them to participate! Nothing feels better to your viewers than to have bragging rights because you have the top score on the mini-game leaderboard. Don’t forget to shoutout the winners when you return to your stream to reward them for sticking with your stream while you were away.



One additional feature of Stream Minigames is the bits integration. Viewers can use bits to unlock in-game power-ups and characters, which 80% of the proceeds go towards the streamer. Now you can make money while you’re away from stream!




Summary


How to effectively use Twitch Extensions to retain viewers:


  1. Install Twitch Extensions on your channel that can actively engage viewers while you are both present and away.

  2. Explain to your viewers what Extensions you are using and how to use them.

  3. Encourage (& reward) participation!

  4. Give shout outs to winners or top engagers.

If you’re not a Twitch streamer, no worries, I’m making a similar post for Mixer, Youtube, and Facebook streamers in the future.



I’ll close this article with a quote from Drulk, a popular variety content creator

As difficult as it is to catch the eye of a viewer, it is even more so to keep them engaged. As a streamer, you’re competing with every other form of entertainment. Viewers like being made a part of things. Having an easy to use extension for both the streamer and the audience allows for barrier free engagement. They get to participate and be realized on stream and you get to keep their attention going. It’s a win win. — Drulk


Montana Wong is the Founder of Sengage, a software company that is building new ways to experience content online. Their products are used by 20,000+ creators worldwide.

I believe that entertainment and gaming are converging and that live streaming platforms are at the center of it all. Connect with me on LinkedIn or say hi on Twitter, mentioning this story as you write.


Check out some of Sengage’s Twitch Extensions over at https://www.sengage.io/twitch-extensions



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