Viewers can pay real money to boost their favorite channels to the frontpage. The Community has termed it a ‘Pay to win’ feature.
Twitch is experimenting with a new feature that will allow users to boost channels using real money. The community is not impressed with this leaked feature.
Amazon-owned Twitch has been making big changes to its streaming platform recently. From lower sub-prices to number-verified streams to combat hate-raids, the community has mostly been positive to these changes. However, the latest leaked feature might not get the same reception as some of the other releases.
What is the 'Boost this Stream' Feature?
Twitch is reportedly testing a ‘Boost this Stream’ feature with a very small test group of streamers. Viewers will have the option to boost their favorite stream for real money.
Is Stream Boosting a New Feature on Twitch?
Yes, and No!
‘Boost this stream’ is not an entirely new concept to Twitch. Late last year, Twitch had introduced a similar feature that allowed viewers to boost certain channels. The December 2020 Community Challenge allowed communities to pool their channel points to boost the channel. However, using real money to boost channels is something new.
The new Boost feature allows viewers to buy a specific number of boosts for their favorite channel(s) using real money. Boosted channels receive increased visibility and will be more discoverable to other Twitch users on the front page.
Jacob Rosok, Twitch Product Manager, in the latest patch notes community stream said Twitch will be testing the new feature with a select number of Twitch streamers.
“What we’re doing with Boosts is giving viewers the ability to buy super high visibility promotions for their favourite creators, and these types of placements come with a cost."
Rosok says since the introduction of Boosts, Twitch has seen over 100,000 boosts. This is quite a significant number, however, it is important to note that viewers used channel points to achieve these boosts.
Communities want us to make Boost more available and communities want us to make Boost more impactful. [...] We will allow viewers to directly purchase boost for their favorite creators.
There are three key aspects to the new 'Boost this Stream' feature as outlined in the Twitch Patch notes stream.
- Boost is available to participating creators multiple times over the course of the experiment.
- Purchase Flexibility: During the boost purchase period, community members can pay to make the boost as big as they would like.
- Clear Impact: Each community member’s purchase will add more frontpage recommendations for creators. We’ll call out to the community who’s made the purchase and share with everyone exactly who may recommend the community has unlocked as the purchases roll in. Creators can also see the impact of boosts have on their growth as Twitch will share statistics with the streamers.
What will the Boost This Stream Experience feel like?
There are two parts to this ‘Boost This Stream’ feature. Here’s how it works, as told by Jacob Rosok.
The Purchase period lasts for ten minutes. During this time, viewers will be able to buy as many boost recommendations as they like.
The second phase is the launch of the boost. Once the launch countdown hits zero, Twitch will start recommending the streamer on the frontpage of Twitch with all the recommendations that have been purchased by the community.
Can Viewers still boost using Channel Points?
The Community Challenge required viewers to pool Channel points to boost their favorite streamers. Rosok says Twitch will continue with the community challenge in addition to allowing users to pay for boosts.
I am confident in telling you that we are totally committed in ensuring that viewers who can’t support financially will still have the option to support via boosts.
He goes on to say that both features (the channel points and the monetary version) are experiments at present. There will be further changes to these features as Twitch analyzes the data.
Who will be eligible for Twitch Boosts?
The purpose of Twitch boosts is to ensure smaller channels get more visibility on the frontpage. Twitch creators have been demanding more visibility for their channels, something that will allow their streams to survive and ensure a viable career.
"For now we are focusing on channels with under about 250 viewers: both a mix of partners and affiliates."
The Boost this Stream feature seems to be heavily focused on smaller streams with less than 250 viewers.
How long will the ‘Boost This Stream’ experiment run?
The ‘Boost this stream’ is still in an experimental stage and will initially run for four weeks, says Rosok. However, he does not specify if the experiment will continue beyond the initial run or if Twitch plans to make this feature available to more streamers.
Community Terms New Feature as 'Pay to Win'
The community reaction was mostly negative towards the new feature with many terming it as a Pay to Win feature.
This feature does not apply to big streamers (yet) who receive free publicity on the front page. However, smaller streamers’ communities have to pay to get more visibility.