Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Show HN: Twitch Roulette – Find and chat with streamers who are streaming alone (twitchroulette.net)
732 points by mumphster on May 8, 2020 | hide | past | favorite | 202 comments

Singer Ben Folds once did this during a huge concert. So random people looking for a video chat would suddenly see a man on a stage in front of a huge audience...singing a song about them. ("Hello Mr. Shirtless Man. How are you doin' today? Is it hot in there...?")


I remember quite a while back, Chat Roulette song improv was a big thing. It was the guy in the hoodie - PianoChatImprov on Youtube. I just looked it up and, wow, that was 10 years ago.

This was also before Chat Roulette became nothing but dongs.

I'm kinda surprised there was a "before" in that situation. I presumed that was what was going tonhappen from the get-go.

Perhaps I am too cynical.

Sadly, no. At the beginning it was mostly random people. Unfortunately, you need very little to ruin things - most normal people will not play even with a 10% chance of getting a dong, and the more “normies” leave, the higher that chance gets, in a vicious circle.

Maybe it just normalized to be only "normies", and normal people just happen to really like dongs, even if unspoken?

Perhaps, but probably not. How many people use chat roulette today?

The wants of the recipients aren't represented in the marketplace of dickpics.

In these confusing times I sometimes tend to forget that being a normie is a good thing.

That's not the definition of 'normie' I'm familiar with. In fact, I'd expect normies to be the ones showing dongs.

Normie means unremarkable middle-of-the-road as far as I know.

Showing dongs in anonymous video chats is not what I'd expect from a normie.

That's an interesting blog post.

As an aside, I've noticed exactly what the author mentions in it happening in hacker news recently - there is a shift in politics to less tolerance. I've reduced my own viewing because of it.

I suppose it will just re-enforce that lack of tolerance.

I was on Chat Roulette very early.. and maybe my memory is bad (I'm getting old) but I remember it being dongs pretty much from day one.

You'd think with the state of machine learning these days someone could have another go at it, and ban users who show their dongs

Not Hotdog

Or for those that want it, have a dong on / dong off preference.

the question is, would it be possible to implement something like that in a way where dong shows don't take over? What is it exactly that turned chat roulette into that?

> What is it exactly that turned chat roulette into that?

Being on the internet?

First and foremost, upon returning to this thread after a few hours, I’m stoked how many people I got to say the word “dong”. Anyway.

Nowadays it would probably be easier than ever to detect certain shapes? I don’t know, we have artificial intelligence that can detect all sorts of things, male genitalia probably that hard to detect.

They could have Snapchat-like filters that turn it into something innocent

* would it be possible to implement something like that in a way where dong shows don't take over? *

Having an option to mark yourself as NSFW, and to decide if you want to see NSFW cams would go a long way.

IIRC they had this and only guys used it (because only guys were naked on chatroulette to begin with) so nobody used it.

Yea, discord can detect dicks. I'm guessing that the hotdog/no hotdog algorithm is advanced enough by now.

Really? I've never been in a group where one is sent, does it block it or just mark it as NSFW?

There might be a setting for the room, I've seen it marked as explicit content prevented from uploading and it doesn't show the picture.

I still play piano on omegle occasionally. Dudes will cancel the chat immediately.

One time I got a girl who was just talking about her shitty relationship with the chat on mute. I had to skip her myself.

Perhaps some sort food detection software that returns "Hotdog" or "Not Hotdog" could be repurposed for this.

In this vein, Steve Kardynal did a chat roulette performance of Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball.”

The editing is very good: https://youtu.be/W6DmHGYy_xk

I feel that this is a violation of trust. A lot of users are there to talk to another person, they're not necessarily ready or willing to be shirtless in front of tens of thousands of people. If I was on a jury and there was a lawsuit, I would award damages.

Isn't showing up shirtless to a video chat with a stranger a huge violation of trust in itself? I'd be much more inclined to consider "shirtlessness" (to give this phenomenon a short name) to be a sign of aggression, rather than of innocence and of trust in others.

They're clearly OK with exposing themselves to strangers because that's the reason they're doing it. How does the number of strangers matter? If they were shy, they could have put their shirt on before going out in public.

So if you flash me on the subway and I take a photo of it to share... I am violating your trust?!

The other stranger did not consent to being situation where the rando was shirtless, though.

Them being shirtless without telling the other person in advance, is harm that theyd be causing in the first place.

Consent was given implicitly by browsing chatroulette. Or so is the mainstream rhetoric used for third party cookies "consent".

By that logic, consent was given to be shown on a projector at a concert by showing yourself on Chatroulette.

What would the lawsuit be for?

This is why we can't have nice things :(

On a related note, there used to be a site, https://twitch-tools.rootonline.de/, where you could find "uncategorized" streams with no game set. All sorts of strange broadcasts live there, from pirate sports casts to whole movies streamed to the most random garbage, but the owner took most of the site down after Twitch requested that they stop scraping the site (https://twitter.com/CommanderRoot/status/1250486976547106821). I haven't been able to find any alternative services that offer this. If anyone has such a service, I'd love to go surfing around the strange part of Twitch again.

This sounded like a fun idea so I threw together a quick Go project to test it out / learn some go.


You'll need to get a set of Twitch API credentials from https://dev.twitch.tv/dashboard/apps/create and store the ID/Secret in config.json. Once you start the go program just point your browser to http://localhost:8080/ and you can browse through streams with no gameid set 50 at a time.

Cool! I went ahead and added category sorting last night to twitchroulette, check out the "unknown" filter to randomly browse through streams with no category set. Theres some weird stuff in there for sure (and quite a few pirated movie streams)

I made a similar site as part of a hackathon at Twitch: https://twitchraids.com

The idea is to raid random channels together with everyone on the site. Channels are randomly selected and rotate every 5 minutes, and the channel selection function gives preference to smaller streamers. Users vote on which channel to raid next.

This is interesting because you can incentivise people to go to other streams by offering them multipliers for every raid they join (or something). You'd have a network of people who are watching ads for the chance of having their ad watched!

Reminds me of those mid 2000s sites where you'd watch ads to earn credits to either cash out or spend on your own ads. Was always the default answer to "how to make money online". Forget what the name for that type of site was.

Those were called "click" sites if I'm not mistaken

Thanks, I hate it

Which TwitchCon did you go to? I had the exact same idea but my team ended up going with something else. It's cool that you ended up actually hosting it after the hackathon ended. Do you know how many people are still using it?

I actually made the site during an internal Twitch hackathon about 2 years ago. The site shows the current number of viewers on the site.

Hey! Thought I'd pop in and say hi!

This was a cool site, I remember it but didn't realize it was you who wrote it.

Neat! I've had this idea in my head for a while but could never find a good way to get the data in a way I wanted it. Really neat app though, good work

This is awesome. I imagine that you get some neat reactions when a streamer gets a ton of attention they weren't expecting.

As someone who has periodically streamed, consider dropping a few chat messages when you land. Twitch's metrics are slow to update and it is not always clear when someone is watching.

Hello! I work on the video platform @ twitch. We’ve been working a lot on that issue. Viewer count numbers should be significantly faster today and will get even more responsive soon!

I'd be interested in a short note on what made it slow / what makes it fast.

Having spent a lot of time working on making the backend compute this with very low latency, you wouldn't believe how happy finally seeing this become a reality on the actual site would make me. :)

Thank you /a lot/ for working on this!

Thank you! As another small viewer base streamer, that will be quite helpful. Although, if nobody is around, I just natter on like always because there is always someone who will want to have a peek at the VODs.

Oh joy, more background JavaScript

As a viewer I'm not sure I'd like this happening but for smaller streamers, a notification/message telling you that a viewer has joined or left might be useful.

Please don't. I would avoid certain stream if I knew they were told that I've joined/left because I do that quite frequently without saying anything and don't want to come across as an asshole.

I don't know about other streamers, but I, for one, expect people to hang out for about 5-15 minutes. I do a coding stream, so it's bound to get boring :-) I'm always amazed when people hang out for the whole stream. People are busy and it's wonderful if they just pop by to see what's going on. At least in my stream, I'm always very happy to see someone say, "Hello. Just stopping by. Can't stay!" It's incredibly gratifying.

It's kinda the same reason why I don't watch stories on Facebook. I don't want people to automatically know I watched their stories.

Is this a thing? A quick Google search just turned up articles about detecting if someone sees your profile, which of course they can't. Seems weird.

It doesn't show preofile views, but as far as I know it shows who watched your stories.

It's already possible by viewing your Twitch chat via an IRC client with certain IRCv3 capabilities requested. It's not actually that useful, though; sometimes users can be chatting away but there's no record of their presence either via a JOIN message or their name in the user list because these are cached rather than shown in real time.

As a streamer I would say that a streamer should never act as if no one is watching. Many viewers never feel like chatting and that's fine. And sometimes people will watch vods after the fact. For myself, I purposely disable the metrics so that my mood can't be affected by viewership numbers.

Proper attitude. I run radio based streams. That means I always have to work with 100% concentration on _mixer_ / twitch. Even though I leave the metrics on, the work is always done for a (fictional) audience, otherwise the quality of my recording suffers (I record all my live session with audacity)

I stream for artistic expression, BTW so an audience or not matters little

>I purposely disable the metrics so that my mood can't be affected by viewership numbers.

Thats a great tip, I didn't even know that was possible with Twitch.

If you're using the Creator Dashboard, click on the numbers and they change to -- symbols.

twitch is one of the platforms where I feel like I've struggled the most to get viewers. just playing my main game like Dota wasn't too productive since I'm not a pro or super hot so my value proposition there isn't too compelling. Instead I've been trying to focus more on streaming myself programming and learning new scientific or game programming libraries and have been enjoying it quite a bit. My viewer count is veeery slowly increasing but almost noone is subscribing, many of my friends have expressed interest in watching me so my plan is to start letting them know when I'm about to stream to seed some viewers. Also I've realized that the more specific your brand is on social media the more effective, I've been looking at branding myself as a strategy game buff/developer so will be streaming niche strategy games and Unity game development every weekend. I'll re-asses after a month to see if this plan was effective.

I really appreciate this project as going from 0-1 viewers on Twitch where the 1 isn't your friend is challenging.

It definitely takes a long view approach. A couple important aspects of building a steaming following are structure and consistency.

If you give people a clear idea of what to expect from your stream and when it will be live, and if you don't make too many drastic or sudden changes to either of those variables, then those who like your content enough to make time for it will do so.

If you keep making changes, show up late or just don't seem dedicated, then people won't feel like they can rely on you. Because of that, people won't factor you into their decisions about how they spend their time.

Glad to see you're giving it an effort! I wish you the best of luck.

In addition, the most well attended streamers also have a significant following and consistent upload schedule on YouTube. Since Twitch lacks any sort of discoverability algorithm, new streamers will always have very few to no viewers. Having content on YouTube that drives viewers to twitch is nigh a requirement to be successful on the platform.

Also +1 for the consistency. I try to stream every work day at the same time and it really helps -- I mean, I'm still a backwater coding stream, but usually at least at some part of my stream I have double digits watching. If I take a few days off, though, people wander away. I'm not actually concerned about viewership (I stream for other reasons), but the other thing I've noticed is that I tend to naturally get pockets of viewers in different time zones. If I were to try to grow the stream, I would actively try to cater to 1 or 2 time zones that were popular. So try streaming at different times occasionally to see where you get the best uptake and then adjust your schedule to make it easy for those people to watch.

This! Become part of people's routine.

That’s because discovery on Twitch is almost non-existent. If you want to grow your Twitch channel start on YouTube, advertise your twitch channel there, and slowly try to convert people.

Yeah. Generally the way to become established on Twitch (without relying on YouTube) is to become part of a pre-existing community as a viewer and subscriber yourself, and then to receive raids from established streamers in that community.

Most of my viewing experience is with retro game speedrunning and the specific advice for that community is to pick a game you want to learn and follow the best players. The world record holders and their friends tend to be very happy to share advice and tips for their game with new runners. This is great because it helps you establish a relationship with them without being “that guy” who is just there to try and promote his streaming channel (those people are universally reviled and often banned for unsolicited promotion). Instead, if you’re a legitimate member of the community, learning and improving at the game, then the big streamers may be happy to send you a raid.

It’s very much not a get rich quick scheme. It’s more like moving to a small town. You need to put yourself out there and ingratiate yourself to the community in order to gain trust and become a respected member. The above advice should be largely adaptable to any form of streaming with an established community.

This is great advice, contribute to various Discord and Slack communities and once you establish trust start plugging your stream and even have various people from the community as guests. I guess key is to give give give before you expect people to reward you with their attention.

the only route of discovery for twitch is r/livestreamfails

unless twitch gives users incentive to go down the streamer list twitch as a growth platform is doomed. streaming is niche, gaming is even more niche. a platform thats solely for streaming gamers is isolated, thats why they've been trying to push just chatting and other endeavors outside of gaming but inevitably the majority of the userbase is made of gamers (in the slur sense) and make it difficult for non-gamers to become invested.

Youtube and Facebook streaming dont have these issues bc theyre built on platforms meant for everyone

It's not an issue of discovery. There's just too much out there. No matter what algorithm you choose, you will leave out the vast majority of other streamers. And YouTube isn't any better. In fact, it's going through its own mini-drama with even established YouTubers seeing their subscription counts going down and blaming YouTube for it, when in reality, there are just too many people creating content.

It really is about discoverability, though.

On Youtube, everything is about producing enticing videos and if you do a great job, the algo will favor you even if you are a small channel. Youtube search plays an important part in all of this.

On Twitch, the unit of interest is the live stream and that is much more difficult to produce content around. It also makes finding interesting streams challenging because search doesn't work well with this type of content. Heck, you can't even query the directory for basic stuff like [show me streamers living in Sweden who usually stream GTA 5 RP].

Discoverability matters much less than you think because discoverability is a zero-sum game. If the algorithm favours one type of creator, it necessarily means that it takes 'it' away from another - so the more creators you pile on, the harder it is for any one of them to breakthrough - regardless of how awesome your discoverability algorithm is.

There are some caveats. If the audience is growing relative to the number of creators, you (on average) still have a chance. YouTube also has a huge audience and wide variety of content (much more than Twitch, which is heavily focused on video-game streaming), so it's possible that there are some niches that can still be exploited in a way that you couldn't on Twitch, which is heavily focused on a small number of niches.

None of that takes away from the larger point - it's a race to the bottom when trying to be a viable creator, and the probability of building a big-enough audience to make enough money to even partially support yourself is very very low.

Also great advice, Youtube is better for well edited content and I have been teaching myself Da Vinci Resolve and have gotten a lot better at it over the past few weeks. Once that takes off, it may be easier to cross pollinate my Twitch channel.

I've found quite a few streamers I really enjoy this way. They always have people coming into the stream saying, "saw you on YouTube, thought I'd check out the stream."

Network; network, network. Get known outside your stream. Discord and twitter are very good platforms for that. There are several hashtags on twitter and multiple discord servers for content creators which are highly moderated. This blog and the OPs discord has helped me a lot: https://medium.com/@jomosenpai/a-growth-hackers-guide-to-gro... there is also the subreddit /r/twitch_startup... avoid /r/twitchstreams at all cost. No moderation there

Visibility. Dota and the likes have a large audience and are very easy to stream. Take a twist on it, or stream something else so you are easier to find.

Stream quality and viewer interaction. Talk to your chat and say their names as often as possible. In addition to that, have fancy overlays, a good cam and a good mic.

No, Discord is not a good platform for that - or for anything for that matter. Your data and metadata is more valuable than that.

Now, actual communities in something like Matrix? Totally agree, would be very useful and insightful.

>twitch is one of the platforms where I feel like I've struggled the most to get viewers.

That's expected though. It's also true of YouTubers, and Instagram 'influencers'. Because the barrier to entry is low, you're competing with hundreds of thousands of other streamers for the same set of eyeballs. Except for a tiny minority, the vast majority of you will never make a penny from streaming. Do it as a hobby, but don't expect to make a living off of it.

Yeah definitely not my expectation to make a living out of it, I'm just doing this for fun but streaming into a void isn't as fun as streaming to a handful of people at a time. On Twitter for e.g it's easy to get started with 0 followers since a few insightful replies to posts by popular people can bootstrap you. A popular streamer bootstrapping me on Twitch has a lot more friction and is a lot less likely to happen.

I'm working on https://www.0views.club exactely to try and mitigate this problem :) It's a case of sincronicity with GP, I'm literally working on it (that's why you'll see the TOP streams right now... I'm testing stuff out). Wanna try once ready? I want to give the user the possibility to set custom tags as well.

Yeah reach out whenever you like, my email should be in my profile

I think "1 friend" puts you ahead of more streamers than you'd think, if they're actually watching. They can at least give you feedback about what is and isn't entertaining

Have you considered the fact that, perhaps, watching someone else playing instead of playing ourself is boring? Or that if someone has skill to understand programming, he is way more likely to make his own program instead of watching someone else code on a project he doesn’t care about? Because besides discoverability and red ocean, that’s the most likely causes.

You might want to consider some up and coming platforms where the competition is less intense, for now. On our platform, Spoon, if you stream for an hour you will definitely get listeners (it's audio only though). I think that dynamic changes as the platform grows.

Yes, starting off with your friends just being in chat is very useful. Itll attract more people, and if you show that you have a good little community, then they will stay, bringing more people.

That's interesting! I would watch it

What's your Twitch name?

Thank you, I really appreciate that. https://www.twitch.tv/videos/606535356

I'm slowly getting better at it too and am planning on streaming some Julia Differential Equations stuff tomorrow PST.

How do you broadcast yourself coding? Is it terribly CPU (ie battery life) or network intensive?

It's pretty common, I do it (shameless plug https://www.twitch.tv/nickbusey)

My stream setup is open source on GitLab https://gitlab.com/NickBusey/CodingStream

Here's an article I used in my early days to help get going https://medium.com/@suzhinton/my-twitch-live-coding-setup-b2...

I realize it wasn’t yours, but that’s a really good write up! Thanks for sharing.

I’ve considered doing counting like this before but didn’t really know where to get started.

Suz is a great streamer as well: https://twitch.tv/noopkat

Usually for streaming games you do need a relatively beefy CPU to stream and get good framerates in game, because running the game and capturing/encoding video at the same time is expensive. I imagine streaming a mostly static text editor/IDE would be much less of a load on the CPU though.

It is very CPU intensive but nowadays CPUs with high core counts are very cheap. Get an AMD CPU with at least 6 cores and you will be doing fine.

I have a Desktop PC that I've built, AMA if you want to get started. I have a 32 core Ryzen CPU so I'm really well equipped.

Most the big streamers got to where they are by view botting, the "fake it til you make it" approach.

I'm not recommending that, it's something that Twitch are hotter about catching and banning these days, but it has meant that there has been an entrenched set of "big streamers" for some time now with less ability to break in.

Really the only way is to be playing a game for a while that suddenly gets big so you can be one of the better players for a while, or be playing a niche game that a 'big streamer' happens to play and you'll pick up some viewers when they inevitably move on to the next thing.

> Most the big streamers got to where they are by view botting, the "fake it til you make it" approach.

I'm sorry but this is not true. There have however been perception issues around viewbotting. One such:

For most of the life of host mode when a small stream would get hosted by a big stream, nearly all of the transitioned viewers would stay (through inaction) in the host's channel. Many would be AFK. The small streamer ends up with a large viewercount but a disproportionally "dead" chat, leading to cries of viewbotting.

Coincidentally, big-to-small hosts like this are frequently how fantastic but relatively undiscovered streamers get their "big break", further entangling the accusations with their success.

Source: Worked for five years at Twitch, built host mode

(PS: As someone who became good friends with some of these "big streamers" and those at Twitch combatting viewbotting, I can't help but feel insulted on both their behalves that the amount of invisible effort they pour into their craft so frequently gets shat on.)

> > Most the big streamers got to where they are by view botting, the "fake it til you make it" approach.

> I'm sorry but this is not true.

How can you possibly claim you know that most big streamers never used bots or bought views? None of them would ever tell a Twitch employee if they did. If you had the capacity to detect all bots then there would be zero botting on the platform, which is certainly not the case.

How are you going to question a Twitch employee but not someone making the absurd claim that "most of the big streamers got to where they are by view botting"?

The bigger streamers that weren't already famous have had followings for many years, going from few viewers to the thousands they get now. Saying most of them view botted is pretty wild. I'd love to see some actual evidence..

Buying follows is an open secret on Twitter and Instagram, and I personally had my twitch credentials stuffed to have my account follow accounts with 1 video and thousands of followers

This is not like Twitter or Instagram where you get things or clout purely on your follower numbers. Twitch has viewer counts during a livestream, and it's easy to tell botted accounts or inflated viewer counts based on chat participation. It's relatively easy to spot inflated viewer counts when there are 1,000 viewers on a channel but very few comments in the chat, for example.

And most streamers have a long history of streaming. For example, some of the bigger ones I can think of, Reckful, Destiny, Lirik, Alinity, Tyler1, Day9, etc.

> had my twitch credentials stuffed

"Credential stuffing" is such a goofy, overly fancy term for reusing or having a crappy password.

And were any of those accounts that you followed "big streamers"?

The fact that botting exists does not mean that's how most big streamers got started.

Sounds like from your description host mode is essentially Twitch driven viewbotting.

I hear you, I'm sure some streamers got to where they are with sketchy policies but for the most part the streamers I follow are either Dota 2 pros that have spent years of their life getting good at the game and also stream very consistently (almost everyday) while still being entertaining for 3-5 hours at a time, they also have dedicated editors which will do shorter clips with the occasional meme on youtube if you weren't able to catch the stream live.

For programming related streams I follow Jonathan Blow because he has a unique viewpoint around programming and also because I trust him because he's shipped multiple succesful games.

Be succesful IRL seems to be one of the best ways to get a popular stream.

This was so much fun to test out this morning. Most streamers who saw me come in were so excited to have a viewer. Nice idea.

Yes - I said hi to a few, and had some nice conversations as the only viewer, brilliant idea.

Great concept for the winner take all world we live in now. It's very difficult to get your name out there in anything these days without having to invest a lot in marketing yourself.

Somewhat in the same vein is Steam's new game recommendation engine where you have a [popular --- niche] slider so you can filter out the obvious results. I wish more search engines had something like that.

In general there is so much cool stuff out there on the edges of culture, but your really have to hang around in weird circles to stumble upon the hidden gems.

I'm doing the cardinal mistake of not having clicked the link since I'm at work, but to build on your sentiment:

Is it binary between searching for 0 viewers and not 0< viewers?

If so I'd suggest implementing the option of searching for less than <arbitrary number of users>, so someone new actually can grow a bit from this tool before potentially taking off organically.

It doesn't help that most streams look identical to each other when your are browsing the directory, i.e. hundreds of thumbnails that look like screenshots of games. There is no way to tell them apart.

Agreed. I'd like to see something similar for the app stores, but don't think it would work with the magnitude of games and apps there.

You act like this wasn't always true or that celebrity never existed.

It wasn't always true. The internet made it globalized. Prior to the internet a person's reach was much less powerful. I honestly don't even know who my local leaders are anymore, but I definitely know about PewDiePie. I think this has to do with Dunbar's number as well. More global celebs taking the spots of others.

Really cool idea. Thanks for sharing.

I could totally see myself using this more if you added 2 options, language and game.

Also interesting would be to display not only 0 streams but also streams with <10 viewers.

Ya I've heard similar ideas with regards to filtering, I'm gonna play around with that for sure. Thanks for the feedback.

I'd love to have a "not interested in this game" button next to the game, which would add that game to the exclude list and spin the wheel again.

Can you use the Twitch tags? That would be even more useful than simply filtering by games.

Technically ya, its just the route im going through to get this data probably has some rate limits that I'd like to avoid hitting. Need to figure out how to poke at this in a friendly enough way.

filtering by game while obvious also means creating a filter bubble - it'd be nice if a you could choose just from 'unpopular games' :)

I thought about both being able to include and exclude games (and non game stuff like IRL, music etc)

If you want searching by game, or other categories, like creative, without seeing the most populated streams, try this:


Why not use twitch directly as it already has those filter-options?

I believe this is a lesser-known feature of twitch.

For anyone unaware, you can go to the Browse tab [0] and filter all live channels by a tag, which includes languages. You can also pick a game or category like "Just Chatting" first, then filter by language.

This is how I discover random korean streamers. You can also sort by "Viewers (Low to High)" or "Recently Started".

[0]: https://www.twitch.tv/directory/all

Great idea. It'd be great if you could select a game / category. Reason is I'd actually be able to have an actual chat with someone if I knew something about the game.

Ya I want to add this, I just need to figure out a way to ingest / filter the data in a way that twitch wont ban my account. Looking into this this weekend.

If the expose category and tags then passing through the ability to filter based on that would nice too.

Quite a nice idea, well done! Very minimalist and clean as well. Few pieces of feedback after playing with it for a few minutes-

Not sure if I'm getting unlucky or the results are cached but quite a few of the streamers who popped up were offline. Using the twitch api under the hood I assume?

Ya due to the way getting acess to this works, theres a 10 minute cache of active streams that get expired in redis and a cron job pulls in a fresh list

If you are not already, you could use the GraphQL API that the web app uses, which provides sorting by viewers ASC. That would allow for much more up to date results than iterating the full list with the official API.

Not sure how happy Twitch is about external users, but it can be accessed quite easily with some tinkering.

This is exactly what its doing, albeit caching results, somce im trying to be nice. Official api sadly does not allow sorting by asc.

Hopefully they're cool about it. Typically companies like this frown upon ersatz API usage and cache/rehosting of their data.

Is there a reason for a 10 minute cache duration? Even 1 minute would be fine from a performance point of view

So I'm not hitting the api too much, this is going through a roundabout way to get this data

Every now and then I look at thi. I enjoyed watching people coding now and then, I find its a good way to improve my set up when I am on a new technology.

That being said, I find it extremely difficult to find streams of people coding. Maybe that exist but I'd like something where I can pick a platform of programming language or type of dev. I know there are a few tags like this on switch but there are almost no results and some of them still look like people gaming.

Look in the "Science and Technology" section. It took me forever to figure that out.

I did try that but still get tons of people apparently streaming games. Also I don't seem to get that many results. Also it would be nice to be able to classify things by language, platform etc.

Hey folks, thanks for the great feedback. I'm going to continue going through these threads and iterate on this idea some more this weekend.

Feel free to give me a follow on my twitch channel https://twitch.tv/ellg -- I do a lot of programming on there and would love to have some more people stop by and chat :)

Can you make the chat to the right and stream to the left? Pretty hard to chat when I have to scroll up/down constantly.

I just listened to a little kid play Fortnite while I did some work in the background.

He was very excited to have some unexpected random viewers which made my day.

This is great! One thing that many HN-ers may not know is that Amazon Prime users get a free subscription to give to anyone on Twitch.

It'd be neat if there was a button here that would allow a user to subscribe with Prime; I'm sure these streamers would love that.

You probably can't subscribe to the average streamer with zero viewers: you need to an "affiliate" or "partner" with Twitch for that to be an option.

Screw it I'll give this a try! Streaming right now :) https://www.twitch.tv/redskyforgeradio

Great stream! Except for the intermittent glitches due to 4g... but the mixes were great, keep up the good work!

Thanks! Next time I’ll run a cable outside :)

Hmm there was https://lonelystreams.com/ before but it doesn't work for a long time.

Good catch! Must have used an old API that doesnt exist anymore, thanks for the heads up

Glad you made this new site!

We didn’t learn our lesson about cam roulettes last time around?

Honestly, if sites like omegle had just created a dedicated pornographic section, it would have drawn that audience away from what was otherwise a pretty fun experience.

Omegle does have a dedicated adult section. It doesn't stop people from joining the non-adult section and exposing themselves for reactions.

That... sounds like a good idea. I wonder why PornHub/etc don't try this? Or do they already have such a feature?

Issues with monetization and proving people are legal age.

I always wonder how Twitch streamers manage to go from 0 to N thousand viewers. What is the most effective way people are using to self-promote? I've seen a lot of panels at PAX talking about how to "grow" streaming but nothing about how to "bootstrap" an audience. This seems like it could be a cool way to do that, if not even just find people to talk to.

Is the video supposed to be postage stamp sized?

Nope, whats your viewing setup? OS, browser, device, etc? Still iterating on this from yall's feedback as we speak.

I had the same thing - Firefox on Mac. The video area was 920px wide, but the video player was only 250x150px.

Also, I went to leave a comment on the stream and it asked me to log in. After jumping through the reset-your-password stuff and logging in I came back and tried to comment again (after refreshing). It said "you aren't logged in" (even though I am) and popped up the twitch homepage instead of the login box. The query param seemed to be something like ?popup=true, then it redirects to https://www.twitch.tv/?no-reload=true - which is just the twitch homepage.

[Edit: also, this is a really fun site! Excellent work!]

beautiful, thank you. I think this is the same css issue around twitch's embed iframe that someone else reported earlier. I'll try to get a fix up after I get off work today. Thanks for checking it out!

Anyone else using Firefox? It doesn't appear to work very well in FF :(

interesting, ill test in a bit. The only javascript on the page is from twitch for its embed API, everything else is just some really basic html and server side rendering, so I'm curious what would be breaking

On my side, when I use `grid` instead of `table` for the `.row` style, the `min-height` of the video row is respected, otherwise it's disregarded for a reason I do not understand.

thats uh, weird. I'll look into that, thank you for digging into the issue.

Simple solution: set the `min-height: 600px` on the Twitch `iframe` instead of on the `.embed` class.

Sorry this took so long, added this fix, as well as basic filters. Thanks again for the help!

I get a blank white page within Palemoon and Firefox within Linux.

It works intermittently. I think it's just being hugged to death atm.

I have Firefox and works without a problem for me.

I'm guessing my suggestion is also buried by about 110 comments by now, but the stream in the UX is far too small and makes the actual stream far less viewable than the chat. A viewer doesn't view for the chat, he views for the stream, the chat's a bonus. To swap the expectation is unrealistic. Twitch.tv isn't a chatting program.

this was an issue with firefox and I pushed a css fix, sorry about that

I found a streamer that was really cool. Followed. Honestly great product. It's like StumbleUpon but for streamers.

feature request: language picker. saying hi to someone that doesn't speak my language has got me kicked.

Very cool idea. I'm having problems to access the website. Maybe the high traffic put it down.

Just bumped the amount of asgi workers and upped the DO droplet size, should be good now, sorry about that!

just of out of curiosity, what size was your droplet and how was your asgi config?

had it on a $5 vps with a single worker, bumped it up to a 3 cpu vps and 8 workers. This is using starlette + uvicorn + redis

Heh...spun the wheel a few times and found someone's re-broadcast of the BBC4 stream.

I got a user whose username ended with a + and the site crashed. Cool idea by the way!

It's broken now because of API changes but it's the same concept as LonelyStreams (https://lonelystreams.com).

It's always fun to see some begginner streams.

I think a small improvement may be to use an auto-complete text box instead of dropdown. The items in the dropbox aren't ordered so i can't jump to the game i'm interested in by typing.

Interesting idea, I think this should be standalone product. On the other side when I see ChatRoullete it is very popular but for some reason not commercially successful.

Would be nice if you could filter those fortnite kiddies

What could go wrong?

I don't know how it works, but it would great to check if the streamers are streaming. Clicked on multiple streams that weren't live.

I joined someone streaming on PS4. He said he had been streaming on PS4 for almost a year and had close to 0 people ever viewing his stream.

I chuckled as it reminded me of the cams roulettes in the old days. Still, I liked it. I got a random 'mature' stream.

Like Chaturbate?

Very cool to drop by and say hello to them. What host did you use? It connects to streams so quickly!

just a normal cheap digital ocean vps running python + starlette and redis as a data backend, nothing fancy at all

Quick suggestion: Sort game name A-Z

Done, thanks!

Why is the stream area tiny?

You can full screen it, I went with the lazy max fixed width approach for "responsive".

This whole project is about 4 hours total of dev time, so any feedback like this is nuch appreciated, thanks.

Isn’t this already there and called Omegle?

Did you miss the Twitch part?

Is the site down? I get a 502 error.

Yeah, I do this a lot. But it’s a useful discipline to make sure you push your side project along.

Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact