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Extensions Capabilities in Twitch Chat

Aug 30 2018 - By Arcadio Lainez

When you think of interacting with your favorite streamers on Twitch, you probably think of the energy in Twitch Chat. This is where all the action happens. It is where streamers and viewers interact with each other; where you cheer your favorite streamers with Bits and where memories are created.

Beyond Twitch Chat, Twitch Extensions allow developers to create experiences that increase the level of engagement in a channel by exposing opportunities to interact in new and exciting ways, so that viewers and streamers can connect like never before. Bridging the power of Extensions with the visibility of Chat in real time would give everyone in the channel an opportunity to be an active participant in the live stream.

Today we’re announcing the first of a series of features focused on providing developers with tools for increasing channel interaction, Extensions-in-Chat.

What is Extensions-in-Chat?

The premise behind Extensions-in-Chat is fairly straightforward. By providing Extensions with direct access to Chat, developers can create even more powerful experiences for streamers and viewers to enjoy. Many Extensions are already doing this by connecting through IRC. By now leveraging the Send Extension Chat Message API, we’re able to bridge the functionality of an Extension with the visibility of a chat message — and utilize a single set of standardized interfaces. For instance, an Extension can now send an alert to Chat when the streamer achieves a new World of Warcraft all-time high Arena rating without the need to create an IRC bot.

To use Extensions-in-Chat, a developer can utilize the Send Extension Chat Message API, and with a few lines of code, enable their new or existing Extension to communicate with Chat.

Enabling Extensions-in-Chat

We want developers to focus on building great experiences through Extensions — not the technology stack. For this reason, Extensions-in-Chat is an option in the developer’s Extension dashboard that can be enabled with a flag. Once this flag is enabled, minimal coding is needed to start communicating with Chat. Similarly, we’re providing streamers with an easy opt-out mechanism so that they can manage the Extensions with access to their Chat.

Getting Started

With this release, developers enable streamers to post messages and notifications in the desktop channel chat so that everyone in the channel can see and interact with content in real time. We are currently working on mobile support for this feature.

Also Available: Pop-out Extensions

In addition to Extensions-in-Chat, Pop-out Extensions are now available. For developers, this means that their responsive Extensions can now be undocked from the channel page much like the Twitch Chat pop-out. This gives developers much more real estate in the Extension to deliver messaging and experiences when a viewer chooses to undock it. Viewers and streamers can pop out panel and live config Extensions.

We’d love to hear what you think of Extensions-in-Chat V1 and are excited to see how you use this new feature to create increased interaction on streamers’ channels. Connect with us via @TwitchDev on Twitter or the Developer forums.

Ready to build interactive experiences on Twitch? Start now!

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