Friday, April 10, 2020

Using Twitch Clips to Their Fullest

If you've been streaming for a while, your shows are probably pretty polished by now. But a Twitch stream is long- the average broadcast lasts for hours at a time. Isn't there a way to convey to people how fun your streams are without them having to catch you live or wade through a massive Past Broadcast video? Welcome to the wonderful world of clipping!

One of my favorite features on the Twitch platform is a remarkably robust editing system which allows viewers or streamers to immediately capture the past minute of a stream, even while the show is still in progress. They can then edit and name this snippet on the fly, and once it's saved, their clip will live permanently on the channel for anyone to see. All this happens within Twitch itself, on both desktop and mobile, without the need for any external software. I've found that Twitch clips are a fantastic way to entertain viewers, strengthen your community, and even attract new followers. And in this entry, I'll show you some of my favorite ways to use your channel's clips to their fullest.


When clips are made of your streams, it becomes very easy to use them to make your live broadcasts even more entertaining. On my shows, I have down-time moments where clips will play to keep the energy levels up. Many streamers will also have clips queued up in their streaming software, so they can pull up a specific funny moment at any time. As I mentioned in the previous entry Spice Up Your Stream's Chat, many streamers also have 'clip commands' in their chatbot, so viewers can write a specific command to pull up a clip, which encourages anyone else watching to take a look. There are many ways in which clips can actually enhance your live shows, even though they themselves are non-live videos. It's worth exploring a few of these options on your own channel.


Make your movies!
While clips mainly show up in the 'Videos' tab of your channel, they aren't only confined to your corner of Twitch. There's a whole ecosystem of discoverability for clips on the platform, which can introduce potential new viewers to your shows. When browsing a game's 'category,' next to the usual 'Live Channels' tab there are also areas for 'Videos' and 'Clips.' This means people browsing for funny moments in their favorite game can find your content without even knowing about your channel! Your clips can also show up as recommendations after someone has finished watching another clip or video on the platform. Plus, clips are easy for viewers to share on other platforms like Facebook or Twitter, increasing their potential to be seen or even go viral. Keep making clips and you might just get noticed by more people than you expected!

It may sound stuffy, but formatting when creating clips is actually really important. By default, if someone clicks the 'clip' button on your Twitch stream, the previous 30 seconds will be captured, and the clip will be given the same name as the stream itself. This means the clip likely didn't capture the moment effectively, and it won't have an eye-catching title. Both of these make it almost certain that your clip won't be seen or shared. Make sure when you're capturing clips that you trim them to fit the moment. You don't want the comic timing of your joke to be ruined by the video dragging on long after the funny bit has passed, or by your words getting cut off mid-sentence. The same applies to the title- try to come up with something short and witty that captures the essence of the clipped moment. These two simple factors will make your clips much more eye-catching to potential viewers.


In addition to using clips on your streams and letting them live out in the wild, they have a third function which may have been even more useful to me personally than the other two. Clips are a great way to speed up the editing process when making content outside your Twitch channel. For example, if you want to make a funny YouTube compilation featuring your best on-stream moments, this would typically be a daunting task- your streams have an insane amount of footage to wade through, and it's almost impossible to know where to look for the best moments. But if you've been clipping your shows effectively and often, you'll already have this footage of your best moments pre-made, which you can save and edit into your videos. I can say from experience that this speeds up the post-production process by orders of magnitude.

Put your most entertaining clips on your
satellite channels
If you want to get even simpler, clips can be saved directly from your Twitch channel, and posted natively onto video platforms like Instagram, TikTok or even YouTube to increase your channel's reach. If you're keeping an open mind about their potential uses, there's no limit to the amount of content you can extract from your Twitch clips. Remember not to get overly ambitious with opening new social channels however- see the entry Twitch is the Only Social Channel You Need for more details about how expanding too fast can actually sink your livestreaming efforts. Only make satellite channels when you're able to populate them with quality content consistently and easily.


Clips are one of my favorite features on Twitch because they're fun for everyone involved. The streamer has an easy way to show their channel at its best, new followers might use them to find a channel they love, and viewers who make the clips can be proud and take ownership of having captured a great moment! On my streams I make a ceremony out of clipping a stream moment. We have designated segments of the broadcasts when we'll show at any new clips someone took on stream, and I'll award the sender a certain amount of channel currency based on their editing, naming and comic timing skills. Clips are a win for everyone involved, so make sure you're using them to their fullest!

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