Streaming is hard enough without having to keep up with chat. We'll lay out exactly how to read twitch chat like a professional.
One of the challenging skills to master as a new streamer is following and reading chat as you're playing your game. It's not as easy as it sounds, because depending on how many people are chatting the text will move quickly and don't forget you've got a game to play! It can be a lot to handle, but with a few quick changes and some guidance we can get you keeping up with chat like a professional!
How to read twitch chat? The best way to read twitch chat is to keep it a high priority while you stream. Don’t neglect chat messages as you stream as viewers want to ENGAGE with you. In addition, you can help yourself read chat better by popping it out, increasing chat size, and utilizing a second monitor.
While you’re growing your streaming channel and viewership is relatively low you’ll have a lower number of messages coming through chat. If you’re wanting to grow (which we assume you are) you’ll want to read EVERY single chat message that comes through.
Reading the stream chat shows that you care about the viewer, and many viewers are coming not only to watch what you’re streaming, but also to engage with you. It’s a fact that many new viewers come to the channel, type out a message, and leave once they realize the streamer doesn’t care about reading it.
When streamers read and talk with their viewers it shows they care that people are in their stream. Unfortunately too many new streamers focus too much on the game they’re playing and ignore messages from their viewers. While it’s not a guaranteed way to kill your channel, you’ll definitely see slower growth.
As your channel grows, you’ll see an increase in messages and it will get to a point that you no longer can read every message. When this happens you’ll obviously need to pick and choose the messages that you read. Unless you’re a “Just Chatting” streamer you do need to focus on what game you’re streaming too. There’s a balance, but you’ll want to continue to glance at chat and interact with it consistently.
Even if reading chat is a priority to you as a streamer it can be physically difficult to read chat for a number of reasons. Here’s a list of seven tips on things you can do to make reading Twitch chat even easier.
One of the features of Twitch is the ability to “pop out” your chat and have it in its own browser. This will allow you to move the chat wherever you want on your screen, and place it in an area that is easier for you to read.
How to pop out chat in Twitch? On Twich you’ll want to navigate to your “Creator Dashboard” and than to “Stream Manager.” If you look towards the bottom of chat you’ll see a tiny gear. Click on this gear to open “Chat Settings.” Next click on “Pop Out Chat” where you’ll now have chat in it’s own browser to move wherever you like.
My eyesight is good, but I struggle at times to see and read the tiny chat font. It makes it even harder to read when it’s flying by, and I’m squinting to make sure I catch what’s being said. One simple trick is to increase the font size through Twitch. Twitch chat has four sizing options for streamers to choose from.
How to change font size on Twitch? On Twich you’ll want to navigate to your “Creator Dashboard” and than to “Stream Manager.” If you look towards the bottom of chat you’ll see a tiny gear. Click on this gear to open “Chat Settings.” Next click on “Chat Appearance” where you’ll now have the option to increase or decrease the font size of chat.
When I first started streaming I didn’t have a second monitor to place my twitch chat on. Instead I used my iPhone to bring up Twitch stream manager and I read everything on the mobile phone. There are countless streamers who keep up with chat this way, and it can work well.
One small recommendation to make it even easier to keep up with chat via your mobile phone is to invest in a stand for your phone (or tablet). There’s a number of cheap stands, tripods that you can purchase so that you can keep your phone/tablet upright and in a spot that makes it easy for you to look at.
If you’re using your phone I would recommend a gooseneck (see on Amazon) as it’s an easy way to get the phone off the ground/table and higher up so you can keep up with everything your fans are typing.
This is the most expensive method to keep up with chat, but also one of the most effective. By utilizing a second monitor you can increase the size of chat to the largest size and have it dedicated to a monitor.
If you’ve ever seen a photo of a streamer with a monitor that is oriented vertically it’s because they have the entire Twitch chat going up and down the monitor. While this is a great method to read Twitch chat it’s not a necessity. This is NOT mandatory for being a growing twitch streamer, but it does make reading chat convenient.
Have you ever taken a look at your chat while streaming and struggled to read it, because the colors were too bright or blended into the white background? I’ve been there, and there’s a fix to this. You can change the chat to colors that are easier to read.
How to change twitch chat to readable colors? On Twich go to your “Creator Dashboard” and then to the “Stream Manager” page. If you look towards the bottom of chat you’ll see a tiny gear. Click on this gear to open “Chat Settings.” Next click on “Chat Appearance'' where you’ll be able to see an option that says “Readable Colors.” If you click the “Readable Colors” option it’ll change the colors to make them contrast to the background in a way that makes them more readable.
You can also increase/magnify the browser that Twitch is in by clicking Ctrl + on a Windows device or Command + on a Mac. This will magnify the browser which will also magnify the chat so that you can see it better.
Once your channel starts to grow you’ll see a more active chat and have more messages to keep up with. Streamers handle a busy chat in a variety of ways, but one thing you won’t see is streamers completely neglecting chat. The only streamers who can get away with ignoring chat are those who are hyper popular.
One way you can continue to be engaging, but also keep with chat is by choosing a message to answer every now and then. The message you read and interact with can springboard you into a dialogue, and once it’s done you can choose a new message to engage with. For some streamers they’ll allow a text to speech program so they can hear messages from a new subscriber or bit giver. This is another way to engage with chat, but not with everyone.
The nice thing about having an active chat is that you can pick and choose the messages you want to interact with too. Choose messages that are interesting to you rather than reading any random message. You can filter the messages to engage with that are best suited for the content you’re trying to create.
As the chat gets more active on your channel you’ll also want to recruit mods who can keep chat in line with the vibe and rules of your channel. Active chats are more likely to attract trolls or viewers who aren’t willing to play by the rules.
There’s a variety of ways that you can make reading Twitch chat easier, and I hope that one of the one above helps you! Reading chat is so important to growing a thriving stream channel, and should be a high priority for you. Streamers that engage with chat show their viewers that they matter, and will retain viewers longer. Don’t be the streamer who’s more focused on their game than the chat.
I hope this article helps you to read and interact with your stream’s chat! If you’re looking for more advice I’d suggest subscribing to the Streamer Growth School podcast! There’s a weekly episode that’s full of tips, tricks, and advice to growing your stream.