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Since the dawn of the time, our users have yearned to connect to chat using HTML5 instead of Flash – we’re pleased to announce this is now a reality. HTML5 chat is rolling out today.
With our shiny new WebSockets chat implementation, you’ll experience:
- Speed: Chat loads nearly 4x faster on average
- Efficiency: Chat uses fewer CPU resources, especially in busy chat rooms
- The Future: This is a big step towards a complete HTML5 Twitch experience
Now you can send private chat messages without leaving your current chat.
Whisper to friends, followers, and subscribers to chat privately one-on-one across all of Twitch. Your whisper will show up in-line with the rest of chat on web and mobile apps no matter what channel you’re on. If you’re watching Lirik and your friend is watching MANvsGAME, you can still whisper to him/her as long as you are both online. But only you and the user you’re whispering to will be able to see the conversation.
Twitch is the 4th largest stream of data on the internet.1)Study by Deepfield original published in Wall Street Journal (paywall :/). Gamespot syndicated article. Conclusion: People really like watching each other play video games.
I’ve always been curious about how people find content on Twitch, so I dug into the discovery process in aggregate. The most striking result I found is the terrible performance of sessions (See: Appendix) that start on offline channel pages. Broadcasters get almost nothing from a third of their hard earned direct traffic, because their channel is offline. If you follow a link to a Twitch channel, the broadcaster could easily be sleeping. In contrast Tweets provide a consistent destination; tweets are only offline if Twitter is down.
It’s no surprise, then, that “broadcast more” is one of our most common pieces of advice for growing your audience on Twitch. I recommend broadcasters take advantage of Host Mode 2)Host Mode release blog post. Drew Harry’s post on who hosts who. to keep their channel live. Part of my motivation for this post is that broadcasters cannot see the size of this problem from the dashboard.
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Beginning today, all broadcasters will have the option to reduce stream delay on their broadcasts via an on-off toggle in Settings. Enabling this feature reduces delay on average by 33%.
How have we reduced the delay? We’ve successfully cut the video segment size from four seconds to two seconds, which decreases the amount of video that is stored in the processing pipeline. If you’re a broadcaster who spends a lot of time interacting with chat, this new reduced delay option means you’ll spend less time waiting for replies.
Today, we’re releasing a new way to submit an appeal if you believe one of your videos has been incorrectly flagged by our Audio Recognition system.
The new functionality will initially be available to all members of the Twitch Partner Program and non-partner broadcasters whose videos are in HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) format, which is roughly 25% of non-partner broadcasters. We are in the process of storing all newly created VODs in HLS format rather than Flash Video (FLV) format. (How can you tell if your videos are in HLS or FLV? Check the VOD URL. HLS VODs will have /v/ in the URL; FLV will have /b/.)
For those broadcasters not included in the introductory rollout, the Audio Recognition appeal process will function as it currently does today. All broadcasters will still be able to appeal a muted VOD regardless of format.
Twitch has grown so quickly this year that it’s hard to keep track of all the amazing subgroups and communities that call Twitch home. To illustrate this, our Science team has recently been building visual maps of the Twitch world and we’re thrilled to share them with you!
NOTE: Visualization and layout were completed using an open source tool called Gephi. Click any image to enlarge.
In this map, each circle is a specific channel on Twitch. The lines between channels represent the amount of overlap between the audiences of those channels; each time a specific viewer watched two different channels during the time period this data draws from, it makes the connection between those channels a little stronger. Because we’re only drawing on a short time period in December, not all channels are represented here, and sizing only approximates activity in that time period.
[Note from Support: You may have noticed some craziness overnight with sub notifications in chat. That was directly related to this feature. We apologize for not giving a proper warning before pushing this to production.]
Declare your loyalty by letting everyone in chat know how long you’ve been a subscriber! When you’ve renewed a channel subscription, or entered a subsequent month of a bulk subscription, you’ll be prompted to share the news with your community in chat when the channel is live.
Introducing Theater Mode – a new way to maximize your viewing experience on Twitch. Theater Mode lets you full-screen the video player without losing chat and features an easy-on-the-eyes black background.
We know it’s true: Notifications have been notoriously difficult to manage and update. But that’s about to change. Now, you can conveniently subscribe or unsubscribe to email notifications directly from a channel page. No more hunting through your Settings to find the channel you want to receive Notifications from.
On October 22 at 8am PDT/11am EDT/4pm BST, we will perform site maintenance for approximately 5-15 minutes. During this maintenance window, note the following experience:
- If you’re already connected to the site and broadcasting or viewing, your experience should not be affected. However, navigating away from the page you’re on will result in seeing the maintenance page.
- If you’re not connected or attempt to navigate around the site, you’ll see the maintenance page. Connections include logins, broadcast attempts, and API requests.
We’ll send reminders before the maintenance at ~48 hours and ~24 hours, respectively. Follow @TwitchSupport on Twitter for the latest updates.
London POP Upgraded 1500%!
We’d like to take this chance to inform you that we’ve upgraded our London Point of Presence (POP) a full 1500% of previous capacity. (Yes, 1500%!) We hope you’ll set your phasers to fun and turn up your flux capacitors to 1.21 jigawatts.
Hey broadcasters and partners! Now that we’ve built out our internal statistics pipeline, broadcaster and partner dashboards will see some changes over the coming months. Next up for improvement are subscriber and per-broadcast stats, which will give the broadcaster (you!) more insight into how individual broadcasts are performing; we’ll be tracking when you change broadcast details and pairing up your stats with them.
Before we get to the improvements, we’ve moved over some resource-intensive charts to our internal stats system:
- Concurrent Viewers
- Max Concurrent Viewers
- Time Watched
- Time Broadcast
By October 1, 2014, we will permanently close our Chicago Point of Presence (POP). We will update again near actual time of closure.
We thank you for your understanding. We continue to work on additional POPs and increased capacity around the globe.
One day, we see a world where Twitch is used by people in every country of the world. And we want that experience, whether via browser or app, to be in your preferred language. Today, we see that goal draw ever closer with the addition of 14 more languages for our Xbox One app, bringing the total to 24 fully translated languages! In the latest Xbox One update, we’ve fully translated our app into Russian, Chinese Traditional, Korean, Japanese, and many more languages.
As announced 20 days ago, at 2pm PDT today, August 27th, the next steps in our VOD storage system will begin to take place.
Past broadcasts will begin to be removed from Twitch servers. This also marks the beginning of the new VOD storage system:
- Past broadcasts will now be saved for 14 days for all broadcasters,
- And 60 days for Twitch Turbo subscribers and members of the Twitch Partner Program.
If you would like to keep your past broadcasts, you can easily export them to YouTube or create highlights with our new Video Manager. Additionally, you can save locally right when you start broadcasting.
These changes take us one step closer to our ultimate goal: to deliver the highest quality video across multiple platforms.
Over the last two days, you’ve provided us with an incredible amount of feedback about the new Video Manager, VOD storage, and Audio Recognition system. We take your opinions very seriously, and we’re acting on your concerns.
First, effective tonight, the maximum time limit on highlights will be removed. You will once again be able to create highlights of any length and they will be saved indefinitely.
Secondly, we’re deploying an “appeal” button for VODs that have been flagged for copyrighted music by the new Audio Recognition system. We recognize that the system is not yet perfect. We want to make this system as fair and unobtrusive as possible, and we greatly appreciate your help.
Thank you again for all of your comments, tweets, emails, messages, and for taking part in Emmett’s AMA. We read all of your feedback and we take it seriously. Expect more changes, more clarity, and more improvements on our recent updates in the days to come.
We understand that you may have additional questions. Feel free to join Emmett on tomorrow’s Twitch Weekly from 2:00-2:30 PST. He’ll be answering questions via Twitch chat or Twitter.