Follower Alerts – The how and why!

Whenever you follow a channel, host them, raid them, subscribe to, cheer or tip them, you may trigger an alert that was made for that instance. There are plenty of streamers that don’t have alerts but most of them will have them on. After all, it feels good to trigger something fun, something quirky or a cool sound effect and animation while reading your name on the screen. It certainly feels better to do anything if you get rewarded for it, right? So, today I wanted to talk about the process of why alerts are fun, what you can do with them, and how you set them up, as well as whether or not you should use anonymous alerts for the likes of Follows!

So, for starters, the alert box is a widget hosted by Streamlabs, Streamelements and other platforms that allow streamers to create and set up their own alerts. To do that, you simply add a sound file, some text, and/or a gif to the alert and add the browser source to OBS. As to whether or not you should use one platform over the other, I can’t really help you out too much. There are a lot of people that like Streamelements more while I’ve only used Streamlabs before. I can’t really complain when it comes to Streamlabs and I found Streamelements a bit weird to use. People don’t typically talk about other platforms but I’m sure you’ll be fine with whatever you go for! No matter what site you chose, you’ll log in with your Twitch account, move to the Alert Box section and start creating whatever you need. You can even set up different alert boxes to separate your follower alert and your raid/sub/tip/bit/host alerts as I mentioned before and you can also have alternative alerts that trigger rarely based on your own preferences. There are a lot of options but I’m sure you’ll be just fine.

As for the question, why? – It really is just for that instant-gratification effect. When people click on a button, they get a reaction. Even if you don’t say “thanks for the follow”, your alert may say “Thanks for Following!” and people will like that. Usually, it will even have the name pop up on the screen which is something that a lot of people like… but… I personally don’t do that anymore.

So, a while ago I removed the {name} section of the follower alert because quite frankly, Twitch has a bunch of problems. You can create racist account names and have them be displayed in the chat or in the alert box but a streamer might get banned for not banning those people on-sight or for saying their name out loud by accident. It doesn’t make sense. So, to not give them a platform, I essentially ended up disabling that part of the Follows and Hosts, so that goebbelsfan88 or whoever decides to follow doesn’t get the gratification of their racist names getting displayed on the screen for a solid second. 

Another reason why you may not want to have that name pop up is to not call lurkers out. Lurkers are the backbone of Twitch and while there are a lot of people that enjoy chatting, there are many that just enjoy being around and listening in while doing other things, which is fine. Calling them out is considered rude or can be weird for lurkers. So, if they follow, I personally just tend to say “Thanks for the follow” and I don’t ask them how they are and whatnot until they end up speaking up in chat. After all, I want them to be as comfortable in my chat as possible, so I won’t force them to talk all of a sudden. 

Hence, I basically changed the alert to resemble that lurker-friendly nature of my stream and not give racists and edgelords a platform. Those are my two main reasons. Instead of saying “Thanks for following, X” and essentially calling them out, I just say “Thanks for following!” or “Thanks for the follow!” – I don’t think that that change really makes that much of a difference behaviour-wise but a huge difference in terms of keeping things comfortable. Obviously, you don’t have to acknowledge anything. You don’t have to say thank you. You can also completely ignore it or insult them or call them out or whatever… your stream is your stream after all. But I personally wouldn’t watch a stream if they did that, which is just my preference, but also a preference shared by others.

At last, links to some cool streamers:

itsTwiggie – kind of sparked the idea for this post due to her recent tweet where she mentioned her preference. I personally only removed the follower name from the alert because of racist names I’ve seen containing slurs, etc. but because of Twiggie, I stopped calling out names unless people spoke up in chat. Twiggie’s streams are super cool and fun. Can recommend her streams!

CaveMobster – has been one of the first streams that I’ve seen without the name on the screen. I never would have thought of removing the {name} part of the alert message if I hadn’t seen it there first. Cave is super nice and plays a lot of simulation-type games from Snowrunner to HouseFlipper and Farming Sim. She also played Darksouls 3 with a steering wheel… which’s impressive! Check her out.

Joecrastination – one of the inspirations that got me into streaming in the first place. He’s a friend of mine and super chill and cool. I personally find it rather easy to spend hours in his stream without any issues… but it’s also fun to just hang out and lurk there. Really can recommend him!

Anyways, that’s it for the post. How do you feel about this? Do you have any preference when you’re in Twitch streams? I find it kinda weird but I don’t mind being called out. My streams remove the “kinda weird” as I remove the username from the equation, essentially, and I think that people like that more now because of that change.

Cheers!

This post was first published on Indiecator by Dan Indiecator aka MagiWasTaken.

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