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Subscriber Emoticon Guide for Affiliates

Last Updated: Oct 11, 2017 08:04AM PDT
This article explains how Affiliates can get one Subscriber emoticon in their channel, and offers tips and tricks to get a great looking emoticon.

Subscriber Emoticon Guide for Affiliates

This article explains how Affiliates can get one Subscriber emoticon in their channel, and offers tips and tricks to get a great looking emoticon.

Notice an error or have feedback for this article? Let us know!

Quick intro to the guide.

Affiliate Subscriber Emoticon

Custom Subscriber emoticons are part of the Subscription benefits under the Twitch Affiliate program. More information on the requirements and eligibility for Twitch Affiliate Program can be found here. If you are already an Affiliate, below are specific instructions about how to create and manage your emoticons and subscriber badge.

Subscriber Badge and Emoticon Guidelines

When making your badge, emoticon, or other Affiliate content, the following requirements apply, please read carefully.

Adhere to Twitch Community Guidelines and Terms of Service

This means, for instance, do not create an emoticon that would violate these policies. As a reminder, Twitch prohibits the following categories of content:

  • Harassment, including targeted insults, defamation, intimidation, and threats of any nature
  • Hate speech, including offensive slang, symbols, stereotypes, and imagery
  • Extreme or divisive political phrases, symbols, and figures
  • Vulgarity, including explicit words, phrases, and gestures
  • Depictions or references to drugs and drug paraphernalia
  • Depictions or references to violence, including self-inflicted and against others
  • Depictions of sex and sexual arousal, gestures, aids, or attire
  • Depictions of nude torsos, buttocks, and genitals

Respect the Rights of Others

Use good judgement to avoid unauthorized uses of another person’s content and intellectual property. Failing to do so, may expose you to legal liability and likely will result in the removal of that material from Twitch. We suggest you avoid:

  • Content that you do not own, do not have the rights to, or are otherwise not authorized to use from games, movies, TV shows, and other media, including assets from other Twitch channels.
  • Another organization’s name, logo, and other identifying marks.
  • Content that appears to violate the rights of others as well as content that may include the likeness of another person (such as the face of a celebrity or athlete).

Keep in mind, Twitch applies a repeat infringer policy; multiple copyright strikes on your account will lead to a permanent suspension of your account.

Additional Restrictions

  • No animations.
  • No single letter emoticons, regardless of any established branding.
  • No images of single letters or characters, unless it’s a key element of an established logo or branding.
  • No violations of Twitch Brand Assets Guidelines
  • No emoticons based on Twitch Global Emoticons. The only exceptions to this are Kappa and VoHiYo derivatives, which are allowed with certain restrictions.
    • Max of two Kappa derivatives per channel.
    • VoHiYo derivatives may not use or appear to use original assets.
    • Kappa and VoHiYo derivatives are not exempt from any other policies.

For further information on enforcement of these guidelines, please see the Frequently Asked Questions section below.

How to Create Your Subscriber Emoticon

Some Affiliates create their own emoticon, while others hire an artist. No matter who makes the emoticon, there are some important things to remember:


  • Make sure the image is in a .png format.
  • There are three sizes per emoticon which are required for submission: 28px x 28px, 56px x 56px, and 112px x 112px. For example:
  • The file size cannot exceed 25kb.
  • When you upload the emoticon, you will choose a unique code that will be capitalized and appended after your emoticon prefix. The maximum number of characters that this code can have is 20, and must be alphanumeric (a-z and 0-9).
  • Please submit your emoticon with a fully transparent background. If you do not know how to make images transparent, please read this.
  • Ensure you are viewing the emoticon at 100% resolution to check that your art has clear lines and, if you are including words, that the letters are correct and easy to read. Make sure that lines are sharp (no unnecessary blurring or feathering).
  • To make it easier to see a dark emoticon clearly for those that use dark backgrounds such as via Theater Mode, you could create a thin 1 pixel line of off-white (#F1F1F1 is the correct color code) around the edge of the emoticon shape. The reason for this specific suggestion is that this is the default background color of Twitch chat, so the outline will not be noticeable outside of any dark mode. This is not always necessary though, so use your own judgment and test it on a dark background to ensure quality.

HELPFUL HINT

To make quality emoticons, you will need a program like Adobe Photoshop or GIMP (free; open-source); MS Paint is not recommended because it does not allow for transparent backgrounds.

How to Manage Your Subscriber Emoticon

To upload an emoticon:

  1. Go to your Dashboard
  2. Go to the Settings tab
  3. Click Emoticon, then Edit, and upload your emoticon in the sizes specified
  4. Click Save Changes

To delete an emoticon:

  1. Click Edit and select the emoticon for deletion
  2. Click Save Changes

To swap an emoticon for a new one:

  1. Click Edit and select the emoticon you wish to remove
  2. Upload a new emoticon in the sizes specified
  3. Click Save Changes

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q. Will my emoticon be available for my Subscribers to use immediately?
    • A. Emoticons require manual approval before they appear to your audience. As soon as you submit it, it enters the queue in the review system.
  • Q. How long does the review process take?
    • A. Review of emoticon, badge, and chat prefix submissions are generally done as soon as possible. This process cannot be expedited (attempting to do so may, in reality, slow the process down). Events and holidays may extend the approval process, so please be patient while waiting for review.
  • Q. What is my Sub Emote Prefix?
    • A. It will be autoselected for you based on your Twitch username. You will find it on the emoticon upload page from the Settings tab in your Dashboard.
  • Q. Can I change my Sub Emote prefix?
    • A. We are not allowing changes to Affiliate sub emote prefixes at this time.
  • Q. My emoticon was denied. Now what?
    • A. You should have received an email regarding the reason why your emoticon was not approved (check your spam filter). If you did not, please open a ticket via help.twitch.tv and select the “Twitch Affiliates” option. Remember that all emoticons and their suffixes (the emoticon code you create during the submission process) must comply with the emoticon guidelines. You may alter the emoticon so that it does not violate any of these rules or submit a different emoticon altogether.
  • Q. My emoticon was approved before but is now removed. What happened?
    • A. Twitch reserves the right to review all emoticons and Subscriber badges and to remove content that violates the rules at any time, including as the rules are updated. If your emoticon was removed, you should have received an email regarding the reason why. If you did not, please open a ticket via help.twitch.tv and select the “Twitch Affiliates” option.
  • Q. I think an emoticon violates Twitch’s rules. How do I report it?
    • A. If you find an emoticon you believe violates the Subscriber Badge and Emoticon Guidelines, please report it via the User Report tool.

      In order to report a subscriber badge or emote, select a reason appropriate for the violation in question and specify the content you wish to report in the description, such as the emote prefix and code for subscriber emotes.

      If you wish to report violations that pertain to intellectual property, please refer to our DMCA Notifications Guidelines and Terms of Service for more information.

  • Q. I am bothered by an emoticon showing up in my channel but it does not violate Twitch’s rules. How can I avoid seeing it?
    • A. If you do not like seeing an emoticon in your chatroom on your channel, but it does not violate any of our guidelines, you can still hide it from appearing in your channel by adding it to your “Blocked Terms” filter powered by AutoMod. Words - including emoticon codes - added to this filter will be blocked from your chat. These filters can be removed again at anytime.
  • Q. As an Affiliate can I unlock more emoticon slots with Sub Points?
    • A. No, the ability to unlock additional emoticon slots via Sub Points is limited to Twitch Partners.

Additional Tips

Here are some general tips to maximize the experience of using emoticons on your channel:

  • If your emoticon is based on a photo, ensure that the image has good lighting. A perfectly good emoticon slot is wasted with a photo of your face that was taken in such poor lighting that you have blue skin and no one can make out your expression.
  • Consider that a simple image can often be the most pleasing to the eye since you only have 28px to work with and too much detail or too many words can clutter the emoticon, making it look messy and hard to understand.
  • If you want memes, base your emoticon on memes generated by your own community. Be original! Be YOU. This will cause your emote to have staying power beyond the short lifespan of most general internet memes, because it is based on your channel and your community can feel closer to the source of the meme.
  • Try running emoticon ideas and samples by your community so you do not miss an opportunity for feedback prior to upload. Ask them what they would love to see and what they would not use much. You have your very own focus group at your fingertips, so utilize that!