Twitch is announcing some big updates to emotes on Friday, including that animated emotes will soon be available on the live-streaming platform.
Emotes are a huge part of the experience of Twitch. They’re everywhere in Twitch chats, and Twitch partners and affiliates can offer custom emotes to subscribers that can be used in chats on other channels. Every user on Twitch also has access to a set of global emotes, such as the wide-mouthed Komodo dragon “PogChamp” that’s often spammed in chats to express hype.
Right now, though, all emotes are static, so animated emotes could give streamers new ways to make their chats even more lively (or chaotic, depending on the chat). Twitch partners will be able to offer as many as five animated emotes as perks for their subscribers. If streamers don’t want to make brand-new emotes, they can also choose to apply one of six different animated effects to existing ones, such as shaking, spinning, or a rave-like multicolor effect.
Twitch plans to let partners offer animated emotes in a few weeks, and expects that affiliates will be able to do so by the end of this year. And if you as a viewer don’t want to see animated emotes at all, you’ll be able to turn them off.
Twitch streamers are also getting a new way to offer custom emotes to more people. Instead of making custom emotes available exclusively to paid subscribers, Twitch is going to let streamers offer up to five custom emotes to followers as well. (Following a channel, unlike subscribing, is free.) Those emotes could be a nice perk to encourage viewers to hit that follow button, but unlike emotes you get as a subscriber, which you can use in any other chat on Twitch, a streamer’s follower emotes can only be used in that streamer’s chat.
Follower emotes will be available to select partners and affiliates in beta in late June, Twitch tells The Verge, and the company hopes to start rolling out follower emotes more broadly later this year.
Twitch is also introducing a new way for streamers to better manage their emotes, even ones that aren’t active, which Twitch calls the Library. Twitch plans to roll the Library out in phases, with all partners and some affiliates getting it in late June, the company says. All partners and all affiliates should have access within a few months, according to Twitch.