Follower notifications on Twitch.tv are can be great and add high production value. Not only do they let you know when someone new is following you, but if they look great and sound even better, it can prompt other lurkers to follow you. Let’s face it: People love seeing their name on the screen.
What You Need:
1) Broadcast software like OBS or Xsplit.
2) Screen real-estate. A 2nd monitor is HIGHLY recommended, but you can get away with using a single monitor by being creative.
3) A 3rd party notifier like Twitchalerts.com
4) A limited understanding of what it means to click and drag a file (ye be warned)
Step 1: Choose Your Notifier
I will use TwitchAlerts for this tutorial, but it’s not the only choice in the notification market. The CasualRunsLive resource page has other options for you to check out as well. Some work well as donation trackers (I love the NightDev donation tracker), so have a look and see what works best for you.
Step 2: Watch One Of These Handy Videos
This is a total cop-out, but the creator of TwitchAlerts has already made some great tutorial videos for adding the notifier to your OBS or X-split setup.
Step 3: Fuss With The Details
There are a ton of great GIF animations and sounds built in to TwitchAlerts, but I would highly recommend adding your own custom animations and sounds. A follower notification should set you apart, and make people excited to hit that follow button. As more and more streamers catch on to how easy this is, we will start to see more and more streams using the same animations. Boring!
Go on a quest to find the perfect animated GIF (or build your own) for your stream. Here are a few places that might help you out.
Or, if you get really desperate, maybe you can try out tumblr.
For sound effects, try having a look at http://opengameart.org or do a quick Google search for your favorite video game sound effect.
Save the files you like to your Desktop (or somewhere else easy to find), and we’ll continue.
Step 4: Adjust Your Settings
Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty. Tap that settings button at the top of the app, and we can get started.
The app does a good job of making life easy on us. Here, we see three tabs. One for followers, one for subscribers, and one for donations. We’re going to focus on the followers tab for now, but feel free to poke around in the other tabs when we’re done.
The first option is a drop down box. We can leave this on “Enabled”. If alerts ever start causing problems mid-stream, this is an easy place to disable them temporarily by switching to “Disabled”.
Next, we should see an Image URL box with an address in it and a browse button to the right. If you have an image ready to go for your alert, click browse.
There are a few animations included here, but you can add your own by dragging the file you saved onto this list. It should also be noted here that you are not limited to animations. I have tested it out with PNG, JPEG and GIF format images, and they all work. The only restriction is that you are limited to 3 uploaded images. This is enough for a custom alert in each category.
Once uploaded, highlight your image and select the green “Ok” button.
Rinse and repeat this step for your sound clip by hitting the browse button beside the Audio URL. Drag your legally obtained audio clip to the list, highlight it, and select Ok. That’s it!
Your alert is now unique, exciting, and ridiculously cool. Twitch is going to love you. Heck… I love you!
Try experimenting with some of the other settings in here as well. Change your font to match your personality. Make the Usernames show up in neon pink! Extend the amount of time the alert is on screen to accommodate your excessive animation choices. It’s all up to you.
To see what the finished product looks like, hit the save button. Then at the top of the app, hit the “Follow” button. This will display what the alert looks like when someone follows your stream.
Step 5: TroubleShoot
Hey great tutorial… except it looks like garbage! There are a few things that can go wrong when you’re trying to set up a follower notification. Here are a few of the most common culprits.
1) When I go full-screen, the screen capture on OBS or XSplit just picks up that square of my game.
This is where the second monitor comes in really handy. In order to use a notifier like TwitchAlerts, you need to have enough screen real estate to show off the alert window WHILE you’re playing a game. To those with two monitors, it’s easy. Just play the game on one screen, and set up your chat and alerts on the other. For those of us with just the one monitor, it means we have to be creative. Most games will let you play in a windowed state, so try experimenting with that. Shrink your game down to a smaller 1280×720 window, and adjust your TwitchAlerts window to fit somewhere in the space you have left over. It’s not ideal, but if you’re working with one monitor, it’s the only way to get visual notifications to work.
Remember, that’s just for the visual notification. Those on a single Monitor can still use their notifier to give them audio cues that someone new has followed. Check your smartphone for the new follower email, and you can give a shout-out to that awesome person.
2) My picture looks great when I save it, but it looks terrible when it shows up on my stream!
You might have some green in that picture. Working with a chroma key means being aware of the colors you use. Weathermen can’t wear green shirts, or they’ll look like floating heads. We can’t use green grassy images, or we’ll have see through portions of the picture. To fix this, you can change the chroma key in your OBS or Xsplit software from green to blue, and adjust your twitch alerts background to blue as well. Just make sure you don’t have a lot of blue in the picture at the same time.
3) Nope, my picture wasn’t green. Still looks bad.
GIFs can look great when they’re played at the right size. If you found a small GIF, and you want it to look big, you can stretch out the window to make it bigger. But this image stretching can look poor if the GIF isn’t optimized for that height and width. A good rule of thumb is to find a larger image and shrink it down, rather than the other way around.
If you run into any other problems and you would like some help, you can leave a comment here, ask for more help in the CRL forums, or send me a