Jul 19, 2018 - By Arcadio Lainez

Bits-in-Extensions Moves to Open Beta

Back in April, we previewed the Bits-in-Extensions program with a small group of developers. The launch of this program marked a unique opportunity for developers to monetize viewer passion in a broadcaster’s stream. We’re committed to continuously improve this experience for developers and today we announce a few major milestones that continue our vision of helping developers and streamers monetize on Twitch.

What are Bits-in-Extensions?

First a quick recap. Bits are a digital good that viewers can buy on Twitch and then place in Chat to virtually “cheer” and show support for their favorite streamers. Extensions are overlays on the video screen or panels that allow streamers and viewers to engage in a whole new way through community tools, leader boards or in-game viewer participation experiences. Bits-in-Extensions lets developers integrate Bits (typically available in Chat) with the power of Extensions to monetize immersive experiences during a broadcaster’s live stream.

With Bits-in-Extensions, streamers have more ways to create new content that engages their viewers, while generating revenue. At the same time, developers receive an incentive to build and maintain new extensions for streamers through the Bits-in-Extensions revenue share program. This is a big win for both streamers and developers.

Today, we’re making Bits-in-Extensions widely available in Beta so that more developers can start creating unique experiences for channels and their viewers.

If you’re looking for inspiration, take a look at some existing Bits-in-Extensions examples in the Extensions Manager.

But what’s new, Twitch?

Self-Serve Product Catalog

As we make Bits-in-Extensions available for more developers and streamers to experiment with, we’ve released a series of products to help build and manage product portfolios. For instance, on July 2, we soft-launched the Self-Serve Product Catalog in the Developer Rig for managing Bits-in-Extensions products. Self-Serve lets developers create, iterate and manage their own product portfolio without having to rely on Twitch Integration Success Engineers (ISEs) to manually create product SKUs. With Self-Serve, developers will be able to create, update, and remove SKUs and delete entire catalogs saving days in their build and iterate process.

Our aim is to put the power of building and iteration in the hands of developers so that they can ship the experiences broadcasters want to integrate into their streams more quickly.

Here’s how to get started with Bits-in-Extensions:

  1. Set up the Developer Rig to run your Extension following the Getting Started in Online Mode steps on the rig’s readme file. The following steps will register SKUs for the current Extension on the rig.

  2. Login with your Twitch dev account on the rig using the button located on the top right. Authorize access when prompted.

  3. Select the “Manage Bits Products” tab from the navigation bar where you’ll find the following screen with all of your existing Bit product SKUs listed

  1. Fill in the details.

Here’s a brief description of non self-explanatory fields. SKU: A unique identifier for each developer-created product. In Development: When set to “Yes” this product won’t be available on released Extensions. Changing its value will make your product available on production. Broadcast: When set to “Yes”, PubSub will trigger a broadcast when a Bits transactions has been executed with that particular product. Deprecate: Deprecated products will never be returned when getting the product list of your Extension.

  1. Click “Save All” and you are done!

Developer Rig Local Mode and Run List

On July 6, we announced the release of the Local Mode feature in the Developer Rig. Our objective is to streamline the on-boarding process so that developers can start building Twitch Extensions right away. Like, right now. Local Mode ships with Mock APIs and PubSub that can be used for building Extensions as they might appear in a real world scenario. Local Mode is the best way for developers to prototype their Extensions before deploying it to broadcasters.

Today, we’re also announcing that the Developer Rig now ships with a built-in Run List. Run List provides the ability to mock responses from the Twitch Extensions helper library. This allows developers to create user-defined payloads for testing events such as onContext and onAuthorized.

Help Us Test Bits-in-Extensions

Let us know what you think about Bits-in-Extensions, Self Serve and Local Mode. Our goal is to build a robust community of Extensions developers, and to provide you with the tools you need to participate and monetize on Twitch.

As always, we’d love to hear from you and help with any questions.

Ready to build interactive experiences on Twitch? Start now!

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