Multiplayer Ads

My Role
Lead Designer on V1, Design Manager/Director on V2+
Jan-Aug 2021

What is it?

Shared ad experience followed by viewer interaction incentivized by a reward through the means of the advertiser.

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20% viewer engagement


  • Has to be worthwhile for the creators to kick off these ads from their dashboard
  • Needs to not annoy viewers since the ad break is actually getting longer
  • Advertisers need their brand protected


Designed a new tool for creators that that increased Twitch’s core creator ad running metrics by 50% to 81%.

21% viewer engagement on Desktop and 48% on mobile

Contributed interactive components to the design system

The Verge

PC gamer


Multiplayer Ads (MAds) is Twitch's premium native video ad offering that helps advertisers capitalize on Twitch's shared, live and engaging nature. Advertisers are always looking for new and exciting ways of reaching viewers. Our strategy for 2021 will be to test as many of these variants as possible to identify the advertising products only Twitch can offer to advertisers. This product will be Twitch's flagship advertising product, getting new and existing advertisers alike excited about advertising on Twitch.


Creators aren't interested in running mid-roll ads because it disconnects them from their viewers and doesn't bring enough rewards. Twitch wants to find a way to make running ads on the channel fun for viewers and creators alike while positioning the new ad experience as a premium product for advertisers.

Core Users

A shared ad experience has to meet stakeholder needs from viewers, advertisers, and creators. If Twitch wants to continue to pursue products that involve communities and creators with ads, we should consider all three stakeholder’ needs:

  1. Creators need to have control over the narrative of the stream in order to engage and entertain their audience by reacting over the advertisement in real-time, getting paid more, and believing in the product or company advertised.
  2. Advertisers need to be able to present their advertisements without putting their brand at risk.
  3. Viewers need to stay connected with the creator and not miss out on critical stream moments.


Our initial research focused on the creator since they are the ones who kick off the ad on their stream and make the product possible. Here were our findings.

  • Creators believe that creating a shared ad experience is a way to create content and engage their viewers.
  • Creators feel disconnected from their viewers during ad breaks.
  • Currently, Twitch doesn’t pay enough for ads. It isn’t worth it to run ads.


The following principles were created as a result of user research and the overall product strategy.

  1. Shared experience and celebration
  2. Non-forced participation
  3. An easy entry point for the advertiser


Creator experience

Eligible creators only get aMultiplayer Ad when there is demand. Only the creator can start the MultiplayerAd, and if they wait too long, the ad can expire. The flow is stable, but many interesting interactions were explored that make the experience more fun and meaningful for the creator. For example, I studied the ability to place the ad interaction widget wherever the creator chooses. However, this isn't a good idea because it creates an inconsistent experience and becomes a distraction that competes with the other elements on the screen.

Viewer experience

A voting poll is the most accessible interaction to test while making it easy for advertisers to get in on the product. I started the exploration by leveraging the already existing votes that Twitch has and went from there and found that matching the poll to existing ones created a product clash and didn't make MAds look like a premium purchase package for advertisers. In further explorations, I pushed the visuals of the widget (having already explored a full-screen option prior) and settled back into a design that worked better with our design system.

The biggest challenge was the latency between mobile and web that required the ad poll to appear on the screen at least for 15 seconds to count as an impression. To allow meaningful interaction, we put a timer for the ad poll at 30 seconds.

Final Design

Creator experience

Taking the technical side and demand into consideration, the design allows creators to run multiplayer ads by clicking the familiar "Run Ads" quick actions button. Creators can see the progress of the poll and vote themselves while talking to their channel.

Viewer experience

After several rounds of user testing, the experience that I proposed starts off as a full-screen takeover that minimizes after 10 seconds - after the vote is captured, the poll minimizes. Once the overall timer for the voting ends, and there is at least 1viewer vote, the community sees the celebration on the screen.


The mobile design has an identical flow to the desktop experience, with both platforms having light and dark themes. I began the design in a localized iPhone SE and went from there.

Advertiser's packet

To help Advertisers get in onMultiplayer Ads, I have created a style guide to ensure their products look their best during the interaction.


Multiplayer Ads launched to positive community feedback - here's what our viewers had to say. It also has his its viewer engagement goal of 20% on desktop and even higher engagement on mobile. I have captured the genuine reaction of one of the creators in the video below. Sound on :)