Twitch streamers can now give their followers free emotes

Starting today, most Twitch partners and affiliates will be able to dole out emotes to community members just for following them. They can set up to five emotes that followers can use for free by uploading new ones, moving them over from subscriber-only tiers or picking from a selection of default emotes created by Twitch. The livestreaming platform started testing follower emotes last June, and now they’re more broadly available.

There’s one caveat: to offer follower emotes, a streamer will need to be eligible for instant emote uploads. That feature allows streamers to add emotes that their communities can access immediately without manual review by Twitch staff. Creators’ accounts need to be in good standing to be eligible (they can’t have been suspended within the previous 60 days, for instance).

If they lose instant upload eligibility, streamers can still rearrange and delete existing follower emotes — they won’t be able to add new ones or reassign emotes from other tiers.

Until now, channel-specific emotes have mostly only been available to subscribers, though some streamers allow viewers to use Channel Points to unlock some emotes. Follower emotes should give streamers another way to make viewers feel as though they’re part of a community, even if they’re unable to subscribe.

Twitch also said affiliates should gain access to subscriber-only animated emotes this month. Partners can already use animated emotes.

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