Here's a little known fact about me: my favourite place to hang out on the Internet is not actually my own website, or in online poker rooms or in some random poker forum - it's Twitch.tv. So why would a lifetime gamer, pro poker player and life coach spend time hanging out on Twitch? Well, there isn't just one reason; there are many.
Twitch: Where familiarity breeds adoration...
One of the reasons I dig Twitch so much is that I've actually learned to use it - and use it well. I know how to hop between streams easily, I know how to get my chat on, and I know how to get emotes, and where to score new emotes. I know how to get people's attention to chat, and how to navigate a chat room where there are 20 thousand people spamming away. (It is actually possible!) A lot of people haven't spent the hundreds and even thousands of hours it can take to figure this stuff out, but having been in the front lines - fighting it out in the trenches - I have.
Today, I’m going to share my discoveries with you so you can start having more fun on Twitch. The best part is it doesn't take much to implement this; you just need the right information, and the right guidance, and the right plug-ins – and this is where I come in.
I’m going to give you a rundown of my top three recommendations for Twitch plug-ins that will help you optimize your experience, no matter what your interests. For obvious reasons, my favourite place to hang out on Twitch is Poker, but all these plug-ins are available for free on Google Chrome - and they are available to everyone on Twitch - the Twitchers, gamers, streamers, chatters and everyone in between. So get ready to take your Twitch experience to the ultimate level.
The Top 3 Twitch Plug-Ins
What's MultiTwitch? This is a website you have to know about if you're going to watch multiple streams on Twitch. It allows you to watch your favourite streamers together. Even if there is only one stream you watch now, I strongly urge you to branch out; there are a lot of amazing streamers out there! MultiTwitch also allows you to be in multiple chat rooms at the same time and facilitates easy and seamless movement between streams and rooms. Ever wonder how Gripsed is in all the poker chatrooms at the same time? Well, now you know.
MultiTwitch will automatically optimize your page, so it doesn't matter if you want to watch two streams at once or nine streams at once. The only thing I'll recommend is that you mute the sound on all the streams, save the one you are watching. It's all well and good to watch nine streams at once, but trying to listen to nine streams at the same time is sensory overload.
To pull up a multi-Twitch stream, just go to multitwitch.tv and then enter / and then the name of your first streamer, then / and the second and third and so on.
So, for example: multitwitch.tv/gripsed/greg_merson/shaguar_poker/Epiphany77
You can put in as many streamers as you want - just make sure you type in the names correctly or you'll see offline messages. Another perk of MultiTwitch.TV is that you can use it with all the other plug-ins I'm about to mention.
TwitchNow is the best way to make sure you never miss a thing on Twitch. It lets you know when your favourite streamers are going online. In fact, this plug-in will send you three notifications. You'll get a notification in the top right corner of your browser (purple circle with white lighten bolt), you’ll get pop-ups in your system tray (that's the area in the bottom right corner of your windows where the clock is), and you will get notifications where the search bar is on the top left side of your Twitch player.
While the Twitch follow function is great because it sends notifications to your mobile and email, TwitchNow takes it to a whole other level because it nudges you through other avenues. I'm a bit of a workaholic, and I will often put my phone and email and their notifications on silent so I can concentrate, so TwitchNow makes sure that even if I am eyeballs deep in a project, I still won't miss a favorite streamer. The TwitchNow notifications aren't overwhelming, and I can choose to ignore them if I want, but I know they are there and have peace of mind that I'm not missing out.
It doesn't get any better than BetterTTV (Better Twitch). Brought to you by the same people who brought you NightBot (which I highly recommend if you are a new streamer), BetterTTV offers 20 features to optimize your viewing experience - my favorites of which are:
- New emotes. There are practically countless cool emotes, just waiting to be used. BetterTTV helps you make sure you have the right one at your fingertips.
- Alerts when you receive new messages to the often forgotten 'Other' folder. Twitch lets us know when we get messages in our inbox, but neglects to let us know when something goes to the 'Other' folder. Sometimes important messages can get funneled in there, so it is nice to actually see them.
- Enhanced mod commands. These are excellent for mods (i.e. streamers/broadcasters) who want more ways to manage their chat. They allow you to purge someone's chat, time them out for an amount of time that isn't 10 minutes (you can do 30 seconds, 1 minute, 5 minutes, whatever), and you can ban them - all with one keyboard click.
- Better Twitch chat. This will put entire messages in red if they are directed at you, instead of just highlighting your name. This means you will never miss anything that's directed your way, thereby making it much easier to navigate your chats.
- One click emotes. BetterTTV will list all your emotes by your chat box. This means no more trying to remember how to type your emotes or making mistakes.
The benefits of these plug-ins go on and on, but you'd probably like to be on Twitch right now trying them out for yourself, so Google BetterTTV and Twitch Now and install them into your browser, put together the URL for MultiTwitch and then go have fun interacting with your favourite people on the Internet. After all, that’s what this big, crazy virtual world is all about!