Twitch’s Bits, a virtual good that allows fans to cheer on their favorite streamers, have been one of the ways Twitch creators could make money from their channels while also recognizing and rewarding their top fans. Today, the game streaming site is expanding the power of those Bits by allowing them to now be used with Twitch’s Extensions.
Extensions, launched in August 2017, let streamers customize their channel with add-ons like polls, leaderboards, tickers, game history and more. There are now more than 150 of these add-ons — some of which are mobile-friendly — and more than 2,000 developers signed up to create them.
Starting today, developers can customize their Extensions with interactive experiences they can charge for, using Bits. That is, viewers will be able to pay to take advantage of these new experiences, with a portion of the revenue being returned to the Extension’s developer.
At launch, Twitch says 80 percent of the revenue share associated with Bits in Extensions will go to the creator — as they’re the ones driving traffic to the Extension through their channel. The remaining 20 percent of the revenue will then go to the Extension developer.
Extensions with Bits will be available to every Twitch Affiliate and Partner with a Bits-enabled channel.
Several Extensions have already enabled Bits, Twitch says.
In Tilted Trivia by Sliver.tv, viewers can test their video game knowledge across a number of top titles, like Fortnite, League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Overwatch, Grand Theft Auto V and Hearthstone.
OneView by Esports One will let viewers predict when things will happen in League of Legends; Bit Arcade will offer arcade classics that can be played while watching a game; Poll by iPowow lets viewers guide what the streamer does next; and Rock Paper Bits by Maestro lets streamers start an impromptu Rock Paper Scissors tournament.
Other Bits-enabled Extensions will include those offering a priority queue for joining a creator’s game, virtual throwable items, plus the ability to post on-screen messages, take part in special polls or trigger sound alerts, among other things.
Dozens of Extensions will be available from developers including Altoar, Casperr, CygnusCross, Daniil Kubatko, Doborog Games, Evolution Gaming, gnatbuoy, Hellcat, Inthegame, Martin Beierling, End Game, Meastoso, Mobalytics, MoneyMatches, Porcupine, Pretzel Tech, Purity Dev, Run It Up, Seravy, Stream Decker, Streamlabs, tallcode, tetsuo286, vAudience, VoidTeam Studios and Zippers & Henry Liao.
Twitch had promised at last year’s developer conference TwitchCon, that Extensions would soon be able to be monetized. But it’s taken a little longer to deliver than it had said.
Still, the addition is notable because it opens up another revenue stream for creators and developers alike, which could attract more game streamers to its site, thus boosting its own bottom line. Twitch’s revenue has been growing year-over-year, with payouts to Partners more than doubling in 2017. Cheering with Bits has also proved popular since its introduction, generating more than $12 million in its first 10 months.
The hope is that Bits for Extensions will now follow that same path.
“Our mission at Twitch is to help our community make a living on our service doing what they love, and that includes both content creators and developers,” said Jeffrey Chow, product manager of Extensions at Twitch, in a statement about the launch. “We built Extensions to best serve what Twitch is best known for: community interactions. By enabling revenue generation from Extensions, developers can make more of them, which ultimately opens up more interactive possibilities and monetization methods for content creators.”
Bits in Extensions are live now from the Extensions Manager dashboard, where they’ll be labeled with the “In-Extensions Bits” tag.