Custom thumbnail timing through button
Twitch automatically generates thumbnail images that are shown in the grid view when scrolling through a category at random times from the stream output .
With most categories on Twitch the automatic thumbnail feature is just fine, as the content on stream matches up with what you want to show for discovery.
However, with the "Software and Game Development" category that is not necessarily the case.
The best way for people to discover me is to be interested in the game I make. Optimally the thumbnail would show me showing off the current state of the game and people that are interested into the artstyle / gameplay type / setting / etc. would click on it.
As it currently stands however, us programmers spend most of the time in our code editor which is not representative of the work we create. Viewers trying to decide on a stream have to base their selection of the appearance of the wall of text on your screen (dark / light theme, camera, layout, ...) instead of the game / application you are creating, which is probably the interesting thing about the work.
This puts me in a very difficult conflict of interest as a content creator:
- for discovery it would be optimal for me to have the game on screen as often as possible to increase the chance of the thumbnail showing off the game
- for content the work in progress game is not the interesting thing but the actual work in the code editor which is what people watch me for
That way I have to decide if I want good content or good discoverability which is really bad.
My proposed solution is to add a button to the stream manager that takes a screenshot of the current stream output and uses that moment as a thumbnail until manually refreshed.
That way I could just show off my game, show a nicely framed image of the game, press the button and continue my work, without having to worry about the discoverability of my thumbnail anymore.
Furthermore for viewers searching for streamers this would improve the experience, as they suddenly have the choice between different games and art styles instead of a huge list of walls of code (selection of 1000 bowls of oat meals).