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If you’re hitting the road this summer, check out our four-part AFK Series featuring tips for using Twitch to your advantage when you’re going to be away from keyboard. You’ll read about putting your channel page to work for you, engaging your audience while you’re away from your full streaming rig, and preparing for your eventual return (because sadly, all good vacations must come to an end).
Every day, millions of viewers visit Twitch channels that are offline. That includes regulars who forget their favorite streamer is on vacation and new viewers who follow a link from social media.
In the first installment of our series, we’ll share some ways you can put your best foot forward when you’re not live. Keep reading to learn how you can…
Starting today, we’re making it easier for people to follow you and watch your videos when you’re offline.
A big button in the top-left corner will remind viewers to throw you a follow and turn on notifications
On the right, viewers can jump right into your latest video or your most recently updated Collection.
If you don’t already have your videos organized into Collections (or even if you do), you can take advantage of that valuable video player real estate with just a little extra set-up.
Three ways to use Collections in the Video Player:
If you’ve been playing through a single game, make a collection with some recent streams in reverse-chronological order so your regular viewers can re-watch your progress.
Record an intro video for new viewers and upload it to your channel. Make that the first video in a collection, and add some of your best past broadcasts and highlights.
Before you leave on a trip, upload a quick video telling people how long you’ll be offline and what you’ll be streaming when you’re back. Start your collection with that video and include others that give people a taste of what they can expect when you’re back.
If you want to make sure your Video Player Banner artwork doesn’t get covered by the new thumbnails, we recommend uploading 1920x1080 image with any text or important content near the center. Upload a Video Player Banner on the Channel Settings page.
If you already upload videos to Twitch, you know that pre-recording lets you share new content with your viewers when you’re between streams.
Make sure you upload your videos in advance and schedule them to be published while you’re offline.
When you upload your video, set the status to Unpublished. Then, on the Video Information tab, you can edit your video title and description, add a thumbnail, and schedule your video to be published. Check the options to send an email notification to your followers and a post to your channel feed so everyone knows when your video is live.
If you haven’t uploaded a video before, try recording a vlog to remind your viewers you’ll be offline. You can also download your past broadcasts and highlights and use those to make videos of your best moments on Twitch.
If you usually stream on a set schedule, try publishing your video for your usual streaming time so viewers are reminded that you’re offline.
You’ll be thanking your past-self when you don’t have to run back to your hotel wi-fi to share your videos with your viewers.
By now, you probably know all about the benefits of hosting — when you’re not online, you can share the love and promote other streamers from the community, and with Auto Hosting, you can plan out in advance who you want to host while you’re away.
Remember, you can customize your Auto Hosting to your heart’s content. You can make a custom list of channels you want to host and host them in priority order or at random. If you’re on a stream team, you can host your team members and also add more channels to host when nobody on your team is online.
If you only want to host live streams and don’t want to include Vodcasts in the mix (a new feature — learn more!), now you can filter those out of your Auto Host list, too.
However you choose to set it up, whoever you choose to host, make sure you visit Channel Settings to set up or edit your Auto Host list before you go offline.
Have your own AFK tips you want to share? Use #AFKsummer to share your best tips with us on Twitter, and we’ll share the best ones on Twitter of even in a future blog post.
On that note… stay tuned for next week, when we’ll talk about hanging out with your audience when you’re away from your battle station.
Want more AFK tips? Continue the series here: