Turning free followers into paid subscribers is an essential skill.
After all, subscription revenue—along with donations—is what keeps your Twitch channel running. That’s why it’s critical for your followers to feel welcomed into your channel and chat — in the hope that someday, some may choose to join your subscriber community.
Until now however, it has been easy for non-subs to feel left out. For almost a decade, they’ve watched subscribers show off their emotes and badges in chat. They’ve been derided as “peasants”, not able or willing to dish out $4.99 for a monthly sub. Invisible walls were built between sub and non-sub, with many chats being dominated by a “VIP” subscriber clique. Alienated over time, many followers have learned to limit their chat participation, or even abandon channels altogether.
But all that’s starting to change.
With Twitch’s tenth anniversary and the launch of Follower Emotes, streamers now have a creative way of rewarding their long-time followers and attracting newcomers to their communities. Not only that, but they may also provide an opportunity to boost your chat participation and sub count.
Read on to learn how!
If you’re a Twitch OG, you know follower emotes are big news. For many streamers, it’s even bigger news than the introduction of animated emotes which Twitch announced the same day.
Think about it. A brand new class of emotes, available not just to subscribers, but to anybody who follows your channel. That means that for your viewers they’re 100% free to use!
But how will they work?
Well for one, each channel will receive five emote slots for their “Follower” tier. You can fill those with brand new emotes, or bring back some of your older, unused emotes for an encore.
Once you’ve done that, new viewers landing on your channel will receive a special chat prompt. Viewers will see a similar prompt every time you add a new follower emote.
It’s important to note, follower emotes won’t be as versatile as your regular subscriber emotes. By restricting them to your channel, Twitch has made sure that your follower emotes can only be used in your chat. Nowhere else. That means they won’t appear in your emote-picker when you’re chatting in other channels.
Like traditional emotes, follower emotes can be assigned via your Creator Dashboard. From the left-hand sidebar, select Viewer Rewards, then Emotes. Click the Slot Assignment dropdown, then choose Follower. Now you can add or reassign emotes, just like you’re used to!
Since follower emotes require that your channel is Instant Upload eligible, your designs are ready-to-use as soon as you add them! No need to wait for a manual review by Twitch staff.
The follower emotes beta has already rolled out to Twitch Partners and select Affiliates, with a wider release scheduled for late 2021.
Why Follower Emotes Matter
Giddy about follower emotes, yet? Well, you should be!
What better way to win new followers from newbies passing by your channel? Now, first-time viewers can feel like channel insiders from Day #1. All they need to do is drop a follow and start posting exclusive emotes in chat!
But it’s not just about increasing your follower count.
More importantly, these emotes offer you a chance to convert long-time followers into monthly subs. After all, you’re giving them a first taste of subscriber perks! It won’t take long until some of your non-subs decide it’s worth subscribing to unlock even more emotes and perks.
Follower emotes are a great way of going after these pools of viewers that have been off-limits for years.
They’re also a fantastic way to jumpstart your chat activity. Now that your non-subs have their own perks, you can expect them to spam emotes almost as often as your subs! All you have to do is make sure your designs are fun and you’ll be rewarded with an uptick in chat activity. Which translates into a healthier, more vibrant community.
Follower emotes can also be a subtle way of bringing inclusion to your community. By evening the odds, you’ll be helping to break down some of the toxic barriers between sub and non-subs. By showing your non-subs that they are just as valuable to you as your subs, you’ll be establishing a welcoming environment—one that fosters participation and community.
And even if you aren’t convinced by any of these reasons, you can always think of follower emotes as a welcome gift to your first-time viewers—an act of goodwill. You can bet that it’ll make you more memorable. And more endearing. After all, who doesn’t love a freebie?
Where To Get Follower Emotes
When it comes to sourcing your follower emotes, you have two options:
- Premade Emotes
- Custom Design
If you’re looking for fast, professional and cheap, premade emotes are your best bet. These are ready-to-use emote packages, usually offered by a professional design marketplace. If you know where to look, you’ll find a wide variety of themes and art styles. And as for cost? You can get a full set for $15 on average.
That’s a steal!
You’ll find the world’s largest collection of Twitch emotes right here at Visuals by Impulse. Our packs usually feature between 10-20 emotes each—which is more than enough to start filling up those five follower emote slots!
Check out our collection here.
Their only downside is that you may not be the only one on Twitch sporting these bad boys. Premade emotes aren’t usually exclusive which means they are available to anyone who buys them from the vendor. And while that isn’t a problem for most streamers, some creators—especially larger channels—may prefer personalized designs.
Regardless, if you’re a new streamer or creator-on-a-budget, premade emotes are almost always the better choice. Streaming can be difficult, especially in its early stages. But with premade emotes, ease of accessibility and affordable costs are two less things to worry about.
If standing out with a one-of-a-kind array of follower emotes is your goal, then you should give serious thought to having an emote artist spin up custom designs for you.
You’ll be offering your viewers emotes they know they can only find in your channel. Depending on how cool your emotes are—which we know they’ll be—that’s an added incentive to follow!
But keep in mind that custom design won’t go easy on your pockets. If you’re using a professional, vetted source, custom emote packs could easily go into the hundreds of dollars. That price tag could climb even higher depending on the complexity of your design and if you’re animating.
Another thing to note is custom emotes don’t appear at the click of a mouse. Because painstaking attention is given to their detail, they take longer to produce than premade emotes—usually between a few weeks and several months.
However, if you are a mid-large streamer and you are serious about establishing your personal brand, custom follower emotes may be the right option for you.
Want to have your emotes designed by the same artists that design for CouRage, Valkyrae and Pokimane? Well, you can!
Commission our artists to bring your custom designs one step closer to life.
There’s no doubting it. Twitch’s ten-year anniversary is a pivotal moment in its history. The new follower emotes are just one way interactions between creators and their communities will be changed forever—hopefully for the best. It’ll be interesting to see how the beta fares—and if challengers like Youtube or Facebook Gaming adopt something similar.
In the meantime, don’t hesitate to exploit this long-awaited feature. Once your follower emotes are live, keep a watchful eye on your analytics tab. Monitoring certain metrics like your Audience Retention and Non-Sub Viewers will give you valuable insights on how much of an impact your emotes have on your streams.
If you have further questions about follower emotes or simply want to show us what you’ve been working on, shout out to us at @VBI on Twitter. We’ll shout back.