Twitch’s extensions – the tools that allows streamers to customize their channel pages with interactive experiences, including leaderboards, polls, schedules, and more – are now available on mobile. The game streaming company announced this highly requested feature at the Game Developers Conference this week, along with the launch of a web app for developers that will allow them to test extensions against production APIs across a variety of views – like the broadcaster’s live view, for example.
Extensions were first introduced to Twitch in August 2017 as a means of adding more excitement and interest to channel pages to keep fans engaged and, in some cases, to help streamers make more money. For instance, there’s an extension call “Gear on Amazon” that allow creators to point fans to their favorite products on the retailer’s website. When the viewer clicks through and purchases, the creator earns a commission.
That extension, not surprisingly, is today in the top five. The other top extensions include leaderboards from Streamlabs and Muxy, Streamlabs’ Stream Schedule and Countdown, and Twitch’s own Prime Subscription and Loot Reminder, which reminds viewers to use their free Channel Subscriptions on their pages to claim their loot.
However, not all extensions are immediately mobile -friendly, notes Twitch.
Instead, only a small handful have made the jump to mobile at this time.
This includes the all-in-one extension Streamlabs Loyalty, Music, Polls, and Games; Schedule (by LayerOne) which tells viewers when a channel is live; and World of Warcraft Armory (by Altoar), which shares World of Warcraft game and character progression with viewers.
In total, around a dozen-plus are available on mobile at this time, Twitch says.
Viewers can visit the Twitch feedback forums to request extensions’ mobile compatibility – something that’s up to the developer, not Twitch, as extensions are generally a third-party effort.
Since the launch last summer, the number of available extensions has grown to over 150, with over 2,000 developers signed up – but Twitch thinks more developers would build if the process wasn’t so difficult.
On that front, Twitch also announced a new tool for developers building extensions with the launch of its developer rig. The company said it heard from developers that it was hard to get started building extensions, and extensions were difficult to test. The developer rig is essentially a web app that lets developers test extensions locally. The rig includes the new “Hello World” sample code, with a basic backend in place, so developers can focus on building out their unique experience instead.
A thriving developer community that can help make Twitch’s experience better for streamers and fans alike is one of Twitch’s competitive advantages versus rivals like YouTube Gaming and Microsoft Mixer. Though YouTube’s streamer base has been growing, any Twitch rival has a long way to go to catch up.
The mobile-friendly extensions are available across both iOS and Android, in the Twitch mobile app, version 6.0 or higher. The developer rig is open sourced on Github.