Ludwig Ahgren is launching a company, and it’s got a simple goal: To build the technology for streamers to “do cool shit.”
Ahgren, who’s a gaming/commentary creator and is perhaps best known for beating out Ninja to become Twitch’s most-subscribed-to streamer (before moving to YouTube Gaming), introduced the original Truffle browser extension to his community a few months ago.
That flagship product, Truffle says, tackled his own biggest problem as a creator—“It’s difficult to build a strong community on YouTube.”
Truffle’s solution? For fans to install its extension, which lets them collect virtual “channel points” by engaging with creators’ livestreams. They can then spend those channel points on custom username icons (called “Ludbud flair”) and custom emojis. Channel points can also be spent during specific livestream events—for example, fans can wager on the outcome of a game a creator is playing, and either lose their channel points on a bad guess or reap the rewards of being right.
Today, Ahgren revealed that Truffle is going beyond just being a one-offering extension. It’s expanded into a company with three full-time employees and a handful of contractors.
First the extension. Then the Battle Pass. Then…?
Some of those staffers, Ahgren said during his latest livestream, are working exclusively on the OG extension.
“Their only job at the moment is to make the extension pog,” he explained. “There are a few people round the clock whose job it is to make the extension as good as it can be.”
Others are working on more Truffle products, including the newly dropped Battle Pass, created in partnership with Twitch streamer Stanz.
That product set out to solve “Twitch lack[ing] a fair monetization option for many large streamers,” Truffle says. Its solution operates on a similar points system to the Truffle extension, with fans earning XP (instead of channel points) by engaging with content. Fans can earn XP by engaging with the creator off-platform, too, doing things like retweeting their tweets and joining their Discord server.
The Battle Pass gives fans set rewards at specific XP levels. For example, they might earn a custom username icon at 1,000 XP, a custom emoji at 1,500 XP, and so on. The example Truffle gives shows a new Battle Pass debuting each month, so fans will constantly have new goals to achieve and rewards to earn.
Ahgren says that overall, Truffle is “meant to work with many other streamers and also solve a lot more problems than just the problems I have.”
“Ideally everybody has the extension,” he said. “It’s not just for me to hog and have the best experience. It’s for anyone.”
In an interview with Bloomberg, Ahgren added that Truffle’s long-term goal is to build out a developer platform where it can work with third-party app/tool/extension-makers to offer more and more products for streamers.
Austin Hallock, Truffle’s co-founder and CEO, tells Tubefilter, “Platforms like YouTube and Twitch are great, but they’re really slow when it comes to solving creators’ problems. We’re building Truffle to solve many of those problems, and doing it in a way where we obsess over being creator-friendly.”
He adds that Truffle tools are free to use, but the company does take a cut when creators monetize through them. Right now, Truffle is working on a premium version of Battle Pass where it would take a 10% cut of creators’ revenue–at least for now.
The “longer-term goal is to drive down that percentage through scale,” Hallock says.
There is currently a waitlist for creators to join Truffle. Those interested can put their names in here.
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