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Twitch Polls – How to Integrate and Monetize

Polls have now been integrated into Twitch. One of the last announcements from TwitchCon 2019 has finally been released.  Streamers can now create polls and ask their viewers a variety of questions at any time during the stream and get their feedback directly without their chat being spammed.  Before you start making polls in your stream, we’ll be going over how to create polls, the options available for polls, who can create polls in your stream, ways to integrate polls, and some best practices on how to monetize polls.

Create Polls

There are two ways to create polls.  You can create a poll with the new Stream Manager dashboard using the quick action option “Manage Poll”.  The second method to create a poll is to type /poll in chat.

Once the poll ends, you will also be given an in-depth report of the poll.  You’ll see how people voted, but also see how many votes were purchased with Bits.

Poll Options

Creating a poll is a straightforward process, you type in the question you want to ask your viewers and you can add up to 5 options for your viewers to pick.  Note however, that your question has a 60-character limit and the options have a 25-character limit.  Also, each poll requires a minimum of 2 options for viewers to pick so you won’t be able to make joke polls with only one option.  Finally, the length of polls can run from 1 minute to 3 minutes.

Unlike using websites like Strawpoll or using a poll using a Twitch Extension, Twitch polls have additional settings that are completely optional to use.  The first setting is allowing voting with Bits.  This allows viewers to buy an additional vote ranging from 1 bit to 10,000 Bits.

The second and third setting is related to subscribers. The second setting is Subscriber votes count as two votes instead of one.  The third setting sets the poll to be for subscribers only.

Roles

As a streamer, creating your own polls when you are live can take up valuable time from entertaining your viewers.  Thankfully, anyone you appoint as an editor or moderator will be able to make polls for your channel. 

It is important to note though that your editors and moderators will have the same control when creating a poll for your channel.  That includes all additional settings: enabling allowing voting for Bits, subscriber votes counting twice, and sub only.  Talk to your team on how you would like polls to be used during your stream. You may not want to have people you trust randomly creating polls distracting your viewers from your stream.

Integrating Polls Into Your Stream

While you can now just make a poll for every question you want to ask chat, it’s important to look at the type of content you can create that will allow your viewers to be invested, engaged and make an impact.

One form of content creation that benefit polls is variety streams.  Variety streams are an excellent opportunity to implement polls, as you give your viewers the choice as to what content they would like to see next.  You can start your stream with a game of your choice and then before you go on a break or intermission, you create a poll and ask your viewers what the next game they want to see you play.

The best practice to implement polling is to create breaks during your stream so your viewers can focus on deciding what to vote for.  Creating an intermission scene for your stream or playing ads are methods that let viewers focus on the importance of the poll.  However, when you integrate your polls, make sure that it doesn’t pull focus from your content or create a burden on your viewers.

Monetize Your Polls

Finally, the major difference between third-party polls like strawpoll or poll extentions is that you can set your polls that will allow your viewers to buy additional votes with Bits.  Each additional vote bought with Bits only counts as one additional vote.  As a streamer, knowing when and how to monetize polls can be a great additional form of revenue.

One aspect I’d like to stress before you start monetizing polls is to make sure that like with integrating polls, the polls are also consumer friendly for your viewers.  Your goal is to have your polls leverage the content you create while streaming and the same applies when monetizing.  For example, if one of your shows you create while streaming is completely centered around letting viewers vote what content is played, I would recommend against monetizing the poll.  It is important to not forsake your content and have your viewers feel as if one person can simply go against the desire of the majority.

Should you choose to monetize polls, one method is to set the price to buy additional votes between 1 to 5 Bits.  Having additional votes set at this price will wildly affect the result of each poll as anyone can buy additional votes.  What makes this price effective is that the price synergizes well with the fact that your viewers can watch interactive ads for Bits.  When watching a partnered or affiliate stream, viewers can watch an interactive ad instead of buying Bits. The minimum amount they will get for watching the interactive ad is 5 Bits.  Even watching one ad can turn each poll into a dynamic event where viewers can influence the result.

Of course, you won’t want your viewers to watch those interactive ads in the middle of the stream.  You must create the opportunity.  Having an intermission to start a poll is also the best time to play ads.  Since the longest duration you can play ads and run a poll is 3 minutes, while ads are playing, viewers will have the choice on what to vote on but also have the choice to watch an interactive ad to purchase additional votes.

While the new poll system has its limitations, the possibilities to integrate polls into creating new content or implementing them in existing shows, as well as the opportunity to monetize them, can be beneficial to you and your viewers.

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