I thought I’d throw some of my thoughts into this. My perspective is as a small extension developer with a niche game-specific extension, but I’ve also been doing Twitch analytics for the last 4+ years and have talked with broadcasters/viewers of sizes ranging from just starting out to 15k sub partners through many events like Twitch London.
Styling of the unused area of component screen space
My extension is a type of song selection addon, so when looking at a playlist with only 1 or 2 items it simply doesn’t require a lot of space, but when there’s 10 items it takes up more height (and eventually uses pages if there are lots of items). As well as using only the size I need, my extension also lets the broadcaster change the colour/opacity to choose whatever is best for their specific stream and current theme.
Currently I display as much as I need, with this change you’re telling me that any ‘list’ type extension will now need to either take up all the space and just have huge unused portions of their extension filling the player, or alternatively using just what we need (leaving room to expand as the list grows) but now we have the unused area covered by a background from the extension frame now. So overall this design change will be more invasive to the viewing experience as it takes up more space which is unused. The background will also make it difficult to have parts of the extension have variable opacity, or broadcaster chosen colours as there’s the background which will change how things look beyond broadcaster/dev control now.
Shift in component design
These changes seem to be pushing a different design choice onto component developers, forcing what seems to be a panel view but over the player. Some design choices are no longer viable as a component which will force extension developers to either redesign as an overlay, or to deprecate and their extension entirely.
As has been previously said in this thread, going to an overlay isn’t an option for the vast majority of developers, they’re often made to work in conjunction with things like Streamlabs which many broadcasters use, not work in competition with them. While I have no issue with more competition for the overlay spot, because there is just 1 spot per channel it encourages a consistent stream experience and broadcasters often pick 1 overlay and stick to it, making game-specific extensions non-viable as an overlay.
Extension adoption stats
There has been stats mentioned such as only 11% of streamers using a video extension use more than one, and while I’m sure that data is completely accurate I don’t believe your interpretation of the data is.
The issue with extension adoption is not one that can be solved through design changes alone, as while there are design issues that could use improvement there is also a more fundamental issue which hampers extension adoption and growth and that is a lack of Twitch educating broadcasters and viewers.
Ask most non-devs what the broadcaster/developer split is for in-extension purchases, the majority have no clue, or wrongly assume the broadcaster receives everything from transactions they make.
Ask most broadcasters about video extensions. Many know there is a difference between overlay and component but they often don’t know the specifics, or that the limit is 1 overlay and 2 components. Or from a positioning point of view (which is a VERY important area considering some of these upcoming changes are because of extensions not playing nicely together) they don’t realise components cover up overlays.
There are many areas which broadcasters and viewers have simply no idea, and to some degree they don’t need to know every aspect of extensions, but a lot of the basic things they don’t know because Twitch isn’t making any attempt to educate the either viewers or broadcasters. If you want to increase overall adoption stats of extensions (which will hopefully lead to a growth in extensions being made, and in-extension transactions) you have to make an effort to show what is possible and why extensions can benefit the broadcasters brand and the viewers experience of a stream. If this is an area that will continue to be neglected then you will continue to see hampered analytics.
Awesome for an RFC to have a release roadmap.
Sadly it’s a shame for it to be prioritised over RFC 0011 which is a much more important change, adding things such as transaction security through EBS being able to get those events rather than requiring client to send them (which has very limit fault tolerance).
As for the actual timing. 2 months is insufficient for many devs so will lead to a poor user experience when this goes live. I only have 2 extensions so will hopefully be okay but there are many devs who are more extension focused with many extensions that need updating.
This 2 months also gives no room for consultation with devs (which there seems to have been none) and force through at a rate which leaves no time for changes to meet that schedule.
- Design changes are needed yes, but some of these changes aren’t the way to go about it.
- Rushing the release of this will lead to poor broadcaster and viewer experience for every component that hasn’t had time to update.
- Neglecting proper education to go along with extensions is harming extension growth too, but I see no attempts to remedy that.
- There seems to be a misunderstanding by the devs who worked on this that overlays are a suitable replacement for components that wont work in this new design. Simply suggesting ‘make an overlay’ is not helpful, and it seems like you’ve designed these changes in a vacuum without really understanding what you’re suggestion or the issues involved in that.