Emotes serve as an important part of a brand’s social media presence, and a Twitch channel is no exception. These little pictures provide viewer interaction and build community. They can even encourage merchandise sales and subscriptions. As such, many brands want to know if they can use them offsite for their other commercial endeavors.
Yes, some Twitch emotes can be used for commercial use. However, you are mostly restricted to using your channel’s custom emotes, or creating your own Twitch emotes from 3rd-party templates. You own these emotes outright and can use them to support your brand as you see fit.
While you are mostly restricted to your own channel’s emotes, there are some cases where Twitch will let you use their generic ones commercially. By reading further, you will learn the terms and conditions that let you use these Twitch emotes without violating any copyright laws.
Twitch Emotes and Their Allowed Commercial Uses
Emotes or emoticons express feelings and concepts that cannot be adequately done in words. As a language of their own, they are a part of social media and internet culture. Twitch emotes are emotes found and used specifically on the Twitch live video streaming platform.
Viewers can use these small images as a part of their conversations while chatting with each other and the content creators. Some of these emotes are only available to those who subscribe to the channel. Others require an affiliation or partnership. Others are only available during special occasions. Either way emotes are a great way for a brand to maintain its community and encourage viewer engagement.
Because of this importance, emotes can become synonymous with a channel’s brand. If done right, they can help you make money through subscription and merchandise sales. They can even help you market your brand as features of your advertisements, convention panels and displays, stream overlays, and other promotional activities.
The Types of Twitch Emotes
To handle the needs of every stream on the platform, Twitch provided two different sets of emotes. The first set is a series of global emotes that every channel can use. The other set is customer emotes created by the streamers themselves. Bother versions come with terms and conditions that describe how they can be used on and off the site.
Global Twitch Emotes
Developed by Twitch, everyone who joins the platform has full access to the general emotes. They are so ubiquitous to the platform that everyone knows them and easily identifies them by their lexicon code, or text required to add them to messages.
You can learn these codes by hovering over and clicking each emote with your mouse. You can also use the semicolon (;) command in a chat to retrieve a list of emotes available to you.
The most common global emotes include:
- :Kappa: – Twitch’s signature emote which means sarcasm or wry humor
- :HeyGuys: – a casual greeting
- :LUL: – laughter
- :CoolStoryBob: – sarcastic reply to something unimportant or babbling
- :4Head: – a mocking laughter
- :FrankerZ: – identifies conversations about dogs
- :Jebaited: – baited or tricked by a trap in games
- :PJSalt: – identifies when someone is “salty” about a game
- :NotLikeThis: – express dismay at an outcome
- :WutFace: – expresses shock or disgust
Because Twitch owns these emotes, you normally can only use them while on the platform. For anything else, you either need expressed permission or follow their strict guidelines. Usually, that means you can only use them to promote Twitch or their subsidiaries. Anything else would be a copyright infraction and would be treated as such.
Custom Twitch Emotes
Once a brand becomes popular enough to become a Twitch Affiliate or partner, its channels can create and use custom emotes. Because each channel can have its own emotes, you only have access to them once you subscribe to those channels.
Custom emotes work like their global cousins with the notable exception that the respective channel owners have complete control over them. They get to design what emotes look like. They define the access codes. They can even establish subscription tiers that allow their viewers to access different sets of emotes.
Because channel owners own their custom emotes, they are free to use them in all commercial situations. There are no restrictions on their use except when doing so would hurt Twitch or its users. Fortunately, these moments are rare enough that you can effectively ignore them.
Creating Your Own Twitch Emotes
Another option is creating your own custom Twitch emotes.
Not many people know, but there are commercially usable Twitch emote templates you can use, and customize to your liking.
The most popular website for templates is Placeit. They have pages upon pages of Twitch emote templates, and they continue to add new ones all the time. Here’s a direct link to their Twitch Emote Templates.
Twitch emotes encourage your viewers to engage with your brand in ways other marketing assets cannot. This makes them valuable marketing tools and assets for brand awareness and revenue generation. However, not all Twitch emotes are available for commercial use outside the platform.